Two Queens men charged with terrorism

Two Queens men were arrested after their plot to attack city synagogues with guns and grenades was uncovered.
The men were arrested Thursday in a sting when Ahmed Ferhani, 27, met an undercover officer and bought guns, ammo and an inert grenade in Manhattan. Twelve officers surrounded the Toyota Corolla after the exchange and arrested Ferhani. His partner, Mohamed Mamdouh, 20, was apprehended just blocks away.
“Fortunately, long before their aspirations could take hold, New York City police officers were watching them and were in a position to take them into custody, before they could maim and murder innocent New Yorkers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The synagogues targeted were not identified.
The men have been under surveillance for several months and the police decided to arrest them now because of their interest to acquire weapons and expressed desire to construct increasingly powerful bombs, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
There were no ties to Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist groups, though they were Islamic extremists, he said.
Ferhani came to America in 1995 from Algeria with his siblings and parents who sought asylum.
The pair was charged with terrorism and hate crimes. This is the first time the state terrorism law passed post-9/11 has been used to in New York City. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Ferhani and Mamdouh were arraigned Thursday afternoon in Manhattan.

More from Around New York