Trial begins for Muslim charged in New York, New Jersey pipe bomb attacks

NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of setting off a pipe bomb in New York City that injured 30 people went on trial Monday, but opening statements were made without him in the courtroom.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi stood and asked to speak as a prosecutor tried to start opening statements. The judge told him to sit down or he’d be removed. When he tried again to speak, marshals escorted him out and opening statements went forward without him.

Rahimi has not been charged with terrorism, but federal lawyers say his interest in jihad, terrorist attacks and terrorist organizations vastly influenced his plans.

The government said it is seeking to have an expert witness testify about al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders as a primer for jurors and to help explain some writings he made in a journal.