He’d dreamed of blowing up ten synagogues — simultaneously, on the same remote detonator. He called himself a “mastermind,” yearned for “chaos and ruckus,” and grinned like an excited child moments before his Midtown arrest, as he purchased what he thought was a live grenade and then held it in his hand.
Islamic bomb plotter Ahmed Ferhani pleaded guilty to all ten of the hate and terror felonies lodged against him today — giving Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., the first state-level terror conviction in New York state.
In return for his admission of guilt, the mentally-ill Algerian immigrant agreed to serve a 10-year prison sentence offered him by a Manhattan judge over the objection of prosecutors, who’d asked for 14 years.
“We’ll blow all those motherf—ers up at the same time,” he was caught on tape saying, musing about hiding explosives in ten synagogues and connecting them to a single detonation device. “Imagine that, bro. Imagine what that would be like.”
Today’s admission of guilt, which he read aloud while wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and sitting cuffed before a judge at a well-guarded defendant table, was more formal.
“By targeting a synagogue, which I knew to be a Jewish house of worship, in this manner, I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City, warning them to stop mistreating Muslims,” he admitted.
The ten-year sentence, to be executed on January 30 by the same judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus, is a significant break from the potential maximum of 32 years Ferhani had faced had he gone to trial and been convicted of the top terror and hate crime conspiracy counts against him. After serving his ten-year term, he faces “inevitable” deportation back to Algeria, the judge said.
I guess I don’t understand why this doesn’t warrant the death penalty. He should at least serve life with no hope of parole. His crime is far more violent than Jonathan Pollard’s, who was also promised 10 years by the legal system and then sentenced to life.