Case Against Alleged Synagogue Bomber Can Go Forward, Judge Rules

By Irene Plagianos on June 25, 2012 3:34pm 

Suspects in the Manhattan synagogue plot, Ahmed Ferhani (l) and Mohamed Mamdouh, at their arraignment Thursday.
Suspects in the Manhattan synagogue plot, Ahmed Ferhani (l) and Mohamed Mamdouh, at their arraignment Thursday.
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Lucas Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Prosecutors can move forward with their case against a Queens man accused of plotting to attack New York synagogues, a judge ruled Monday.

Ahmed Ferhani, 27, one of two men accused of hatching a terrorist scheme to blow up New York synagogues, was indicted on weapons possession, hate crime and terrorism conspiracy charges last June after a seven-month undercover police investigation.

Lawyers for Ferhani argued to dismiss the the unusual state-level terrorism case, claiming law enforcement had entrapped their client — who they said has been institutionalized more than 20 times for mental illness — during a sting operation.

Lawyers Barbara Fink and Lamis Deek acknowledged that their client purchased semi-automatic pistols, a revolver and a grenade as charged, but insisted he had no plans to use them to blow up a synagogue.

Instead, the lawyers have said that Ferhani and his co-defendant Mohamed Mamdouh of Queens were set up by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mahattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and the NYPD over "financial, personal and political ambitions."
During the hearing, Deek, herself a Palestinian, accused the DA of "intimidation tactics" as well as trying to "criminalize the entire Muslim community."
Fink also said the DA was acting in a "racist manner."
In a previous hearing, Fink called the case a product of  New York Police Department’s “unconstitutional and illegal” surveillance of Muslims.
Assistant District Attorney Greg Galperin called the lawyers' accusations "outrageous," saying their "hyperbolic political rhetoric" had become characteristic of the team. Prosecutors have argued that Ferhani was intent on commiting "violent jihad" on Jewish Americans.
Ferhani is scheduled to appear back in court for trial in September.
Both men are being held without bail and face up to 25 years in jail.

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