NYC Shul Terror Plot Thickens


shull-terror-plotLess than two weeks after the death of Osama bin Laden, authorities arrested two men allegedly plotting a terror attack within the five boroughs.

The men – both residents of Whitestone, Queens – are U.S. citizens of Moroccan and Algerian descent. They were identified by authorities as Mohammed Mehdi Mamdouh and Ahmed Ferhani.

Detectives from the NYPD Intelligence Division arrested the men around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Police said Ferhani purchased two semi-automatic pistols, ammunition and a hand grenade in an undercover operation. Twelve detectives in six unmarked police vehicles converged on the gray, late model Toyota Corolla occupied by Ferhani at 58th Street near the West Side Highway, where he was apprehended.

Mamdouh was arrested by three detectives at about the same time on the corner of West 57th Street and Ninth Avenue, police said.
Before being arrested, Ferhani said he wanted to obtain more handguns, silencers, a box of hand grenades, bullet-resistant vests and police radios. He explained that he was fed up with the way Muslims were being treated around the world.

“They’re treating us like dogs,” he said.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the men “wanted to destroy a major Manhattan synagogue.”

Bloomberg said that while the raid on bin Laden’s compound was an “important victory” in the nation’s war against terrorism, officials in New York knew “we could not rest for a moment.”

However, sources told CBS 2 the suspects’ plan was already in the works at the time of bin Laden’s death and that it is not believed to be in retaliation for the killing.

“We are concerned about ‘lone wolves’ acting against New York City in the wake of the killing of bin Laden. And that’s why the case before us today is so important,” Bloomberg said.

1010 WINS learned earlier Thursday that Mamdouh faces weapons charges in Manhattan after three guns and an inert grenade were recovered.

Mamdouh also has a pending burglary case in Queens in which he is accused of stealing a computer and some jewelry from a home, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

Ferhani also has a prior record. He was arrested last year for robbing a woman in a Midtown motel.

The latest arrests were carried out as part of a sting operation. Police reportedly intercepted phone conversations as the suspects escalated their plot that included trying to raise money by selling drugs to buy handguns and hand grenades, Papa reports.
FBI officials confirmed they were not handling this case, and sources told CBS 2 it will be prosecuted by the Manhattan D.A.’s office under New York State’s terrorism law.

It’s not yet clear if the alleged plot was more aspirational than operational.

“On the same day after Mamdouh said, ‘I hate Jews’ Ferhani replied, ‘I want to kill them,” said Kelly.
While the Lincoln Center Synagogue was not identified as the target, the NYPD was standing guard Thursday.

News of the homegrown terror bust and ensuing arrests have rattled the Jewish community.

Meanwhile, analysts scouring bin Laden’s personal diary said it’s clear the dead al-Qaeda leader was committed to influencing others to attack America.

“He didn’t want to let up on the big events. He wanted to do things that would kill as many people that he killed on 9/11. But he also wanted to inspire people who would think about individual terrorist activity,” said security expert Robert Strang.

{1010 WINS NY/ Newscenter}


  1. There go those ‘Religion Of Peace’ Moslems again! What – oh it’s ‘Religion Of Pieces’. Ah. Now I get it…