On May 11, New York authorities arrested Ahmed Ferhani, an Algerian, and Mohammed Mamdouh, a Moroccan, for planning to attack a “major synagogue in Manhattan” and possibly the Empire State Building and a church in Queens, CBS New York reports. Mamdouh says he had nothing to do with the plot drawn up by Ferhani.
“[Ferhani] was very clear in what he wanted to do: get guns, get explosives, blow up synagogues and kill Jews . . . He was committed to violent jihad, and his plans became bigger and more violent with each passing week,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said, according to Newsday.
Ferhani is also said to have discussed giving martial arts training to terrorists in Gaza fighting Israel, presumably Hamas, and expressed a desire to get terrorist training in Pakistan.
The two were caught in a sting operation when they purchased two semi-automatic pistols, ammunition and a hand grenade from undercover agents.
“On the same day after Mamdouh said, ‘I hate Jews,’ Ferhani replied, ‘I want to kill them,’” said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. He said that Ferhani talked about disguising himself as a Hassidic Jew to carry out the attack, which would be paid for through illegal drug and gun sales.
The two were also recorded discussing how Muslims are being treated “like dogs.”
“”I never spoke about guns and blowing things up, either. That was him. It was all his idea. I had nothing to do with any of it,” Mamdouh claims.