NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police arrested two North
African-born men in a sting operation after they bought a hand
grenade and guns to attack a New York City synagogue,
authorities said Thursday.
Algerian-born Ahmed Ferhani, 26, and Moroccan-born Mohammed
Mamdouh, 20, bought three pistols, ammunition and an inert
grenade after a seven-month sting operation, police and
Manhattan prosecutors said in a statement.
The plot unraveled Wednesday and would constitute the
13th planned attack by Islamist militants on New York City
since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
New York has remained a target for al Qaeda and police went
on heightened alert following the May 2 raid in which U.S.
special forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in
In a separate case two years ago, four men were arrested
for placing what they thought were explosives outside
synagogues in New York City's Bronx borough. The men, who were
caught in an FBI sting operation, were videotaped making
vitriolic anti-Semitic statements to an FBI informant. They
were convicted following a trial in Manhattan federal court and
"We are disturbed by the news reports of a home-grown
terror plot aimed at Jewish communal institutions in New York
City. ... Especially in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, we
are actively engaging the Federation Movement across North
America to help communities be prepared, alert and secure
against the heightened threat," the Jewish Federations of North
America said in a statement.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; editing by Daniel Trotta)
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