New York City Police Arrest Two In Alleged Synagogue Terror Plot

Originally published on May 12, 2011 4:04 pm

New York City police said they have arrested two men who they say attempted to buy guns and a grenade to carry out an attack on a New York City synagogue.

The AP reports:

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says one of the suspects also expressed interest in bombing the Empire State Building.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the two suspects plotted to bomb a "major synagogue" in Manhattan and bought several weapons and a hand grenade from an undercover officer.

The men were charged under state terror laws. They are Americans of Algerian and Moroccan descent.

The arrests, reports the Chicago Tribune, came as a result of a New York Police Department sting:

The NYPD is acting alone in this case, as opposed to most other terror cases in New York, which usually feature the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a cooperative effort between the NYPD and the FBI. In this latest case, the FBI has declined to join in. That may be an indication that the plot hatched by the two suspects was not developed strongly enough to be tried in federal court. This case is being handled by the New York State court system.

Police said it did not appear that Mohammad Mamdouh and Ahmed Ferhani were planning an attack in revenge of Osama bin Laden's death.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit