Late previous year, Rahimi began trying to radicalize prisoners at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, prosecutors say.
"It's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley argued that everything Rahimi has done since 2016 "has been fueled by hate", and "he has shown no remorse".
"You never apologized to anyone in the courtroom", she said, staring at the bearded Rahimi, who sat at the defense table, shackles on his ankles.
Berman handed down the sentence in US District Court in Manhattan, ending the prosecution of Rahimi, who was convicted of the high-profile act of jihad-inspired terrorism that was widely considered a near miss, injuring dozens without killing anyone.
Rahimi's father contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the months leading up to the attack, warning them about his son's militant sympathies.
While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.
"As the evidence at trial demonstrated, the defendant was committed to waging his holy war against Americans years before he carried out his attack", prosecutors said of Rahimi according to Fox News.
After the sentence was announced, Berman invited several victims watching the proceedings to speak.
Rahimi let other inmates view the items on his laptop and gave them electronic copies, Kim's letter said.
A second bomb planted nearby did not go off.
Rahami, prosecutors said, gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures by the founder of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who inspired attacks on America and was killed in a United States airstrike in September 2011.
The day after the Chelsea bombing, two men walking by the N.J. Transit station in Elizabeth found a knapsack containing more pipe bombs built by Rahimi.
Rahimi, a fast food worker turned homegrown extremist, brought two pressure cooker bombs from New Jersey to Manhattan on September 17 2016, planting them on W. 23 and W. 27th St., officials said.
The device four blocks north failed to explode.
Rahimi and two police officers were wounded in the shootout.
"Rahimi attempted to wreak havoc in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City".
Rahimi's attorney, Xavier Donaldson, said they plan to appeal.