Published on Apr 28, 2013
A Moslem immigrant from Morocco gets five years in prison for planning to bomb New York City synagogues.
A Moroccan national who plotted to blow up Manhattan synagogues was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.
Mohamed Mamdouh, 22, copped to three crimes under state terror laws on Feb. 28 in exchange for a five year prison sentence, plus three years of post-release supervision.
Prosecutors said Mamdouh and "mastermind" Ahmed Ferhani -- busted on May 11, 2011 -- discussed dressing as observant Jews to infiltrate synagogues and tried to buy weapons to arm themselves for "the cause."
"His case has been about bringing to justice two men, angry at what they perceived as the unjust treatment of Muslims in the world, who spoke of their hatred for Jews, and plotted to attack synagogues in New York City using explosives," prosecutor Gary Galperin said at Mamdouh's sentencing.
"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," he added.
Ferhani at one point said he wanted to attack 10 synagogues.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus pointed to the gravity of the bomb plot at Friday's sentencing.
"The conduct contemplated is well beyond what can possibly be tolerated in a civilized society," Obus said.
But the judge suggested the young would-be terrorist learned his lesson.
"I actually do believe Mr. Mamdouh recognizes that at this point. That's especially apparent in light of recent events," he added, an apparent reference to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Mamdouh, wearing black dress slacks and an untucked white dress shirt, declined to speak and did not appear to have family in the audience.
"At a low point in his life he made a terrible mistake. He recognizes that and he's genuinely remorseful for his mistake," said Mamdouh's lawyer Aaron Mysliwiec.
Ferhani, 28, who also copped out, was sentenced on March 13 to 10 years in prison.
Mamdouh pleaded guilty to conspiracy and weapons charges and faced up to 25 years in prison.