May 12 2011
Details were not immediately available, and the identities of the men were not released. But a law enforcement source characterized the suspects as ‘homegrown,’ and another said they were of ‘North African’ descent. DING DING DING! Can everyone say “Muslim terrorists?”
NY TIMES – Two men who the authorities said intended to carry out a terrorist attack in New York City were arrested late Wednesday, two law enforcement officials said.
Major terrorism cases are generally investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigationand prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office in federal court. But in this case, a law enforcement official said, one official had told the F.B.I. it was not a terrorism case.
The New York Police Department, working with the F.B.I., is usually involved in such cases. They are not generally handled by the Police Department alone and are seldom prosecuted in state court. A terrorist act, according to state law, is one that is intended to intimidate or coerce civilians, influence government policy by intimidation or coercion, or affect government conduct by murder, assassination or kidnapping.
It was unclear what had prompted the arrests, which, officials said, were made by the Police Department’s Intelligence Division. The F.B.I.-N.Y.P.D. Joint Terrorism Task Force, made up of police detectives and federal agents, chose not to become involved, the officials said. There has been a history of tension between the police and the F.B.I., though it was unclear if that played a role in this case.
UPDATE 1: Ah Yes, Here We Go – Two MUSLIMS who live in America arrested for allegedly plotting to attack a synagogue in the New York area.
FOX NEWS – One source described the case as the latest example of “homegrown” radicalization. The two men were identified as Mohammad Mamdouh, of Moroccan descent, and Ahmed Serhani, of Algerian descent.
Serhani allegedly made a general statement about wanting to attack a synagogue –- though no specific synagogue was mentioned, according to initial information obtained by Fox News. With a history of drug dealing, Serhani was hoping to make enough money to purchase weapons and possibly explosives for the attack, one source said.
The plan, however, apparently never became operational, and the pair never acquired weapons for it, the source said. Serhani and Mamdouh are now being charged under a New York State terrorism law. Federal authorities usually prosecute terrorism-related offenses, but they declined to do so in this case.
The New York Times and WNBC-TV report that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office plans to release further details about the men later Thursday.