Thursday, June 11, 2015

Florida Muslim Brothers Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi Sentenced to Prison for New York City Bomb Plot.

Two Broward County brothers were sentenced Thursday to the maximum punishment for plotting a terrorist attack on New York City landmarks. Raees Alam Qazi, 22, who admitted he went to Manhattan and bicycled around scoping out potential bomb targets that would result in mass casualties, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. That is three years more than he expected under the terms of his plea agreement with prosecutors. His brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, who provided support, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term, also three years more than he expected. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom told the Pakistani-born men they had taken advantage of the welcome and the advantages U.S. citizenship and life conveyed on them to plot violence and hatred against their fellow-Americans. "You are a terrorist, evil in nature and evil in your deeds," Bloom told Raees Qazi in court. The judge also chastized Sheheryar Qazi for supporting "your brother's devotion to al-Qaeda.

The Oakland Park men pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring to provide support to terrorists and conspiring to assault two deputy U.S. marshals. The younger brother pleaded guilty to an additional charge of attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group al-Qaida. The judge said the younger Qazi's plan to set off a bomb in a crowded section of Manhattan around Thanksgiving 2012 was similar to the Boston marathon bombing. She praised the undercover investigation conducted by the FBI's South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. "That investigation, over many months, may have prevented what could have been the tragic loss of many lives," the judge said. In their search of Mr. Qazi’s house, federal agents said, they found batteries taped together, stripped Christmas light wire and a magazine, Al Qaeda Inspire (Samir Khan again), with an article on how to make a detonator using Christmas lights. One article carried the headline “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.” Additionally, they found parts of a remote control car that Ms. Gilbert and an F.B.I. special agent said could be used to blow up a bomb remotely. It is expected that the men will be moved from the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami, where they have been detained in the highest-security section since shortly after their arrests in November 2012, to serve their punishments in the notorious "Supermax" federal prison in Florence, Colo. A former prison warden called it "a clean version of hell." Inmates there are held in much harsher conditions than in other U.S. prisons, with little human contact and very restricted access to anyone other than their guards.  

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