NEW YORK (AP) — An Algerian New Yorker was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for plotting an attack on New York City synagogues, even as his lawyers continued to insist that he was manipulated by a police mole and never had any intention of carrying it out.
Ahmed Ferhani, 28, pleaded guilty in December to rare state-level terrorism charges in order to avoid the possibility of decades in prison.
His lawyers acknowledged that he purchased guns, ammunitions and an inert grenade at the conclusion of an elaborate police sting. Investigators also recorded Ferhani saying hateful things about Jews and talking about attacking houses of worship. But Ferhani and his lawyers say his true intention was to sell the weapons on the black market because he was desperate for money. The police recordings also captured him talking about lining up buyers and speculating about how much he might earn.
"This was, your honor, a gun crime, and not a crime of terrorism," his lawyer, Lamis Deek, told the judge.
At his sentencing hearing, Ferhani apologized to his parents, who he said had raised him to be respectful of people, regardless of their race, religions or sexual orientation.
"They were humiliated, attacked and harassed on a daily basis over the last two years," said Ferhani, who moved to the U.S. to escape Algeria's civil war as a child and spoke in a New York accent. "I was raised by parents who taught me to put others before myself." (Continue Reading.)
Friday, March 15, 2013
Ahmed Ferhani Sentenced to Ten Years for Plotting to Attack New York Synagogues
I don't get it. We claim to be a multicultural society, and here we are judging this man's culture. Islam promotes hatred of Jews (Qur'an 5:82) and calls for the violent subjugation of non-Muslims (9:29). And we send a man to prison for following his religion? How can we be so intolerant, racist, and bigoted? (Of course, I have to confess that after witnessing Dearborn Police lie under oath in an attempt to justify their bogus charges against us, I can't help but wonder if people like Ferhani are always guilty of everything police say about them.)