• NYC synagogue bomb plot suspect pleads guilty
    By TOM HAYS
    The Associated Press | December 05,2012
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
     
    NEW 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.
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
    2 Comments
    MORE IN Wire News
    LONDON — In a real-life political drama mixing Shakespearean tragedy with “House of Cards,”... Full Story
    UK in shock: Johnson drops bid
    WASHINGTON — The Interior Department said Thursday it is changing the way it values coal mined... Full Story
    Obama admin changing coal royalty program to boost revenue
    WASHINGTON — Saying it’s the right thing to do, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday... Full Story
    Pentagon ends ban on transgender troops
    More Articles