Accused Synagogue Bomb Plotter Ferhani Pleads Guilty
One of two Queens, New York, men accused last year of plotting to attack synagogues pleaded guilty in state court in Manhattan.
Ahmed Ferhani, 27, a native of Algeria, entered guilty pleas to 10 counts today. New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus agreed to sentence him to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision pending a presentence report. Prosecutors had sought a 14-year term.
Ferhani was arrested in May 2011 along with Mohamed Mamdouh, 21, a Moroccan immigrant, and accused of conspiring to bomb synagogues and churches in Manhattan. Both initially pleaded not guilty. Mamdouh’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 7.
The men were apprehended after buying two Browning semi- automatic pistols, a Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and an inert grenade. The arrests followed an eight-month undercover operation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and the New York City Police Department.
According to their indictment, Ferhani and Mamdouh said they wanted to blow up a synagogue and discussed how to do it without being caught. Ferhani also asked an undercover detective if he could contact someone about how to make a bomb, said they should dress as Jewish worshipers, and wanted to blow up 10 synagogues at once, prosecutors said in the indictment.
The case is New York v. Ferhani, 2461/2011, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at email@example.com