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Two Arrested in New York Synagogue Attack Plot

Thursday, 12 May 2011 04:58 PM

 

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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 Pakistan.

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 await sentencing.

"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)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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