NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A judge has declined to throw out an unusual state-level terror case against a man charged with plotting to blow up synagogues in New York City.
WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman On The Case
The ruling came Monday in Ahmed Ferhani’s case.
His lawyers said the prosecution is based on insufficient evidence and dubious police tactics that targeted a mentally unstable man.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office said Ferhani was intent on attacking a synagogue and bought three guns and a grenade to do so. The buy was a sting.
Prosecutors said the 27-year-old and another man, Mohamed Mamdouh, planned to dress as Hasidic jews and go on a killing spree in synagogues.
Ferhani and Mamdouh were arrested on May 11, 2011 on charges they wanted to strike a synagogue to avenge mistreatment of Muslims around the world, authorities said.
An undercover officer who investigated them reported that Ferhani wanted to become a martyr, and wiretap recordings caught the men calling Jews “rats” and other names.
Authorities said Ferhani, 26, was nabbed in a sting buying guns, ammunition and an inert hand grenade on a Manhattan block. Mamdouh, a 20-year-old American citizen of Moroccan descent, was picked up a few blocks away.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
A grand jury declined to indict them on a top-level terror conspiracy charge. They still face other terror and hate crime charges that carry up to 32 years in prison.
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