NEW YORK — Two US residents, including one who complained that the world was treating Muslims like dogs, bought guns and a grenade and wanted to carry out a terror plot against a New York synagogue, officials said yesterday.
One of the suspects also expressed interest in bombing the Empire State Building, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
But there was no indication that the plot orchestrated as part of a sting operation ever put New Yorkers in danger, and no evidence that the men were affiliated with any terrorist organization.
Ahmed Ferhani, a 26-year-old of Algerian descent, and Mohamed Mamdouh, a 20-year-old of Moroccan descent, plotted to bomb a major synagogue in Manhattan and had bought several weapons and an inert hand grenade from an undercover police officer, city officials said.
Ferhani and Mamdouh were arraigned in a Manhattan court yesterday. They were being held without bail and face life in prison if convicted.
Officials said investigators had been using an undercover detective wearing a wire to track Ferhani for several months.
According to a criminal complaint, Ferhani told the detective about “his intent to participate in jihad,’’ meaning holy war, and said that “he would become a martyr.’’