NYC synagogue bomb plot suspect pleads guiltyBy TOM HAYS
The Associated Press | December 05,2012NEW YORK — An Algerian immigrant charged with plotting to blow up New York City synagogues pleaded guilty Tuesday in a rare state-level terror case.
Ahmed Ferhani was one of two men arrested in a May 2011 weapons-buying sting. Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus said he planned to sentence Ferhani to 10 years in prison, four years fewer than prosecutors had wanted. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 30.
Authorities called Ferhani a homegrown terrorist out to avenge what he saw as mistreatment of Muslims around the world. Ferhani envisioned posing as a Jew so he could infiltrate a synagogue and leave a bomb inside, prosecutors have said in court documents. At a meeting to arrange the gun buy, Ferhani said he needed the weapons “for the cause,” according to a court complaint.
His lawyers initially portrayed him as a mentally unstable man entrapped by police.
Most terror cases are federal, but Ferhani and co-defendant Mohamed Mamdouh were charged under a state law passed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Ferhani, 27, and Mamdouh were arrested after Ferhani bought three handguns, ammunition and an inert grenade from an undercover detective, police said.
Mamdouh, a 21-year-old American citizen of Moroccan descent, had been dropped off nearby before the buy and was arrested soon afterward, according to police. He has pleaded not guilty.
A grand jury declined to indict the two men on the initial top charge against them, a high-level terror conspiracy count. But they were indicted on other terror and hate crime charges.
Ferhani’s lawyers have said he has been institutionalized for psychiatric problems as many as 30 times.MORE IN Wire NewsThe Associated Press Full StoryKIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone... Full StoryATHENS, Greece — A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party’s win... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day, 1700, Cascadia Earthquake, Magnitude 9 plus, strikes West Coast with tsunami effects felt as far away as Japan; in 1885, troops loyal to Sudanese Mohammad Ahmad conquer Khartoum; in 1992, Boris Yeltsin untargets U.S.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 971 AD, Southern Han war elephant corps defeated by Song Dynasty troops bowmen; in 1870, Montana, Marias massacre, U.S. kills 173 Native Americans; in 1941, Charles Lindbergh recommends neutrality pact with Nazis.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Bryanna Allen reports Castleton Downtown hosts open house, fire in Springfield leaves family without a roof of their own, suspected Bosnian war criminal trial goes to jury, Brent Curtis reports Rutland Town budget set to rise.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Bill in Legislature proposes naming beagle Vermont state dog; Associated Press looks back at year in opiate abuse; Shapiro's in Brandon soon to close after 75 years; probe shows illegal online gun sales booming.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1861, JEFFERSON DAVIS resigns from the U.S. Senate to become president of the Confederate States of America, in 1908, NYC passes law forbidding women from smoking in public; in 1968, B-52 crashes, loses H-bomb.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Aldermen debate request for $75K from Zamias Fund for Wonderfeet museum, Bryanna Allen covers CSC Spring Convocation, proponents of sugary drinks tax meet press at State House, Neal Goswami reports revenue forecast for state.