A Queens man pleaded guilty in New York State Court to charges related to a plot to blow up Manhattan religious institutions, including the largest synagogue in the borough, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
Ahmed Ferhani, 27, who was charged with weapon possession, sale of a firearm and conspiracy, is the first person to be convicted of terrorism crimes in a state court since New York anti-terror laws were passed following the September 11 attacks.
Ferhani was arrested in May 2011 after an eight-month undercover operation by the NYPD and investigation by the DA’s office.
According to court documents and his guilty plea, Ferhani planned to bomb Manhattan churches and synagogues to “send a message of violence to ‘non Muslims’,” said the DA’s office.
He told an undercover detective that he wanted to bomb the largest synagogue in Manhattan using grenades or by dressing up as Jewish worshippers and leaving an explosive device inside the building.
Ferhani also told the detective that he wanted to buy guns and was selling drugs to fund the terrorism acts.
He is expected to be sentenced on January 30.