This case vividly illustrates exactly why state level counterterrorism laws are needed and must be enforced…
Man sentenced 10 years for NYC synagogue bomb plot
An Algerian man who pleaded guilty to rare state-level terrorism charges that he plotted to blow up New York City synagogues was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.
Ferhani pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy as a crime of terrorism, criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, criminal sale of a firearm as a crime of terrorism and other charges. He would have faced more prison time had he been convicted at trial.
Ferhani said at his guilty plea that he repeatedly spoke of his anger toward Jews, admitted buying weapons from the undercover investigator and planning the attack.
“By targeting a synagogue, which I knew to be a Jewish house of worship, in this manner, I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City, warning them to stop mistreating Muslims,” he said at the time.
The case represented a rare instance of state prosecutors filing terror charges; such cases are usually handled by federal authorities. On Friday, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said the sentencing was an important first.
“This defendant was convicted and sentenced under anti-terrorism laws that enabled local police and prosecutors to protect our communities from terrorist threats,” he said. “Violent plots like Ahmed Ferhani’s endanger all New Yorkers. Fortunately, as a result of the collaboration between state prosecutors and local police, we prevented him from carrying out his violent plan against our City.”
Police have said the FBI was made aware of the investigation but decided not to get involved. The FBI has declined to comment.
But a law enforcement official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, has told The Associated Press the FBI had reservations about how the probe was conducted and concluded the allegations weren’t worthy of a federal terrorism case.
The case against co-conspirator Mohamed Mamdouh is still pending.