The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Two American Muslims Charged in NYC Bomb Plot

By Leah Nelson on May 13, 2011 - 11:56 am, Posted in Anti-Semitic, Extremist Crime, Muslim Extremism

Two American Muslims, one of whom complained that Muslims were treated like “dogs,” have been charged with plotting to kill Jews by blowing up synagogues in Manhattan.

Ahmed Ferhani, 26, an aspiring fashion model who once sold cosmetics at Saks Fifth Avenue, and his accomplice, Mohamed Mamdouh, 20, a taxi service dispatcher, were arrested Wednesday after purchasing three semiautomatic pistols, 150 rounds of ammunition and a hand grenade from an undercover police officer.

They are charged under state law with second-degree conspiracy as a crime of terrorism, second-degree conspiracy as a hate crime and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism.

New York law enforcement described the two men as “lone wolves” with no apparent connection to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group. Their arrest is the result of a seven-month undercover investigation during which Ferhani became increasingly angry and violent, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. As Ferhani’s rage grew, so did the scope of his plans. He even talked about blowing up the Empire State Building.

Shortly before the arrest, Ferhani said he was “fed up with the way Muslims were being treated around the world. They are treating us like dogs.”

Ferhani is an Algerian-born legal permanent resident who came to the United States with his parents in 1995. Mamdouh, from Casablanca, Morocco, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who has lived in the States since 1999.

Ferhani’s father told The New York Times that his son was not a particularly devout Muslim. He described him as a “naïve person” with a “very good heart” whose weakness was credulity. “If somebody tries to tell him something, he always believes it,” Ferhani’s father said.

  • Brad

    Hi, although I believe that this site has a left of center leaning, it can not be accused of ignoring racism on either side, black/white, christian/muslim, what ever. you guys get it right the over whelming majority of the times. Anyone who is accuses you of an anti American agenda is just a “pin head”.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    No problem. It’s what I do.

  • Kris Mavity

    Ruslan Amirkhanov – you made me laugh and you made my day. Thank you for speaking the mind of most reasonable persons!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Left-wing racist individuals, criminals and organizations.”

    Gee JM, why do you think that is? Maybe you can tell us a little about these left-wing racists and criminals.

  • Patricia Smith

    The more things Muslim extremists and/or black separatists/supremists do to get attention, the more attention they will get.

  • hardhat

    Ruslandie,
    Why did these fools come here and cause trouble instead of France? I am a descendant of 6 people of Mayflower descendants. I wish I knew their hearts and minds when they left and crossed an ocean giving up homes and families, never to be visited or seem again. What would make them do something so seemingly insane? Of the 6 that landed, only 2 survived the winter. I think that every country has been overtaken by other countries. In my research, I am a combination of many races that also arrived and married. I am terribly proud of my ancestry. This site may not understand those things.

  • hardhat

    I am as well taken by total surprise with this article. Geeez, this musta been a hard one. Not surprising that there are not many comments…Keeping silent?
    Y Said, why was an undercover police officer selling weapons?’ I have to ask, why this question? Maybe that is their job. Doooya think? The swarm is silent.

  • Todd

    I agree JM,
    For once I’m not reading a story on angry white men who act up because they think they are being treated like dogs.

  • JM

    My longterm objection is that SPLC doesn’t tend to devote that much attention to Muslim hate-spreaders such as CAIR and some segments of the Nation of Islam, and that they spend even less time on Left-wing racist individuals, criminals and organizations. Good job covering this one, SPLC. I’m eager to see where if anywhere you go next with this sort of thing.

  • Y

    Why, may I ask, was an undercover police officer selling weapons?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Geez, United States doesn’t even have a colonial history in North Africa. Why did these fools came here and cause trouble, instead of France?”

    Something tells me you wouldn’t be too happy about that. Of course I suspect you know the real reason why these terrorist focus more on America than France.

  • Nikita Ilyich Jugashvili

    “Ferhani is an Algerian-born legal permanent resident who came to the United States with his parents in 1995.” “Mamdouh, from Casablanca, Morocco, is a naturalized U.S.”

    Geez, United States doesn’t even have a colonial history in North Africa. Why did these fools came here and cause trouble, instead of France?

  • Linnea

    Teabonics?! LOL! Good one… I’ll have to add that to my lexicon, along with “teahadist.” And yes, Ruslan, you hit the nail on the head, as you so often do!!

  • nycgrlupstate

    …and you speak excellent Teabonics.

  • nycgrlupstate

    Hahaha, Ruslan, you’re funny!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Lest anyone forget, allow me to impersonate 80% of the conservatives who visit this blog.

    “BUT WHY COME THE SPLC DON’T NEVER MENTION MOOSLIM TERRORISTS IN AMERICA?!!!! YOUR TEH REAL RACISTS!!! ”

    Thanks for your time.