An Moroccan immigrant to the United States who plotted to blow up synagogues in New York City was sentenced on Friday to five years in jail and faces deportation after his release.
Mohammed Mamdouh pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to commit terrorism and criminal weapon possession. He was an accomplice to Algerian immigrant Ahmed Ferhani, who last month was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Ferhani and Mamdouh were arrested after they bought three firearms and what they believed was a live grenade from an undercover police detective. They reportedly had planned to disguise themselves as Hassidic Jews in order to get into the synagogues.
They are the first people to be convicted under a state antiterrorism law passed following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Their intent was to create chaos and to intimidate and coerce Jews living in New York City, and thereby send a message far beyond New York,” prosecutor Gary Galperin told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus in court.
A second case brought under the state anti-terrorism statute involves a Dominican-born American citizen who was arrested last year for allegedly recorded buying bomb-making materials and plotting to target police stations in the New York metropolitan area. He has pleaded not guilty, and his case is still pending.