BOSTON (AP) — A Muslim-American man admitted Friday that he plotted to use remote-controlled model planes packed with explosives to blow up the Pentagon and US Capitol.And:
Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempting to damage and destroy federal buildings by means of an explosive.
Ferdaus was arrested last year after federal employees posing as members of al-Qaeda delivered materials he requested, including grenades, machine guns and plastic explosives.
Under a plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed to drop four other charges. Prosecutors and Ferdaus’ lawyers also agreed to jointly recommend a 17-year prison term. Sentencing is set for Nov. 1.
Ferdaus grew up in Massachusetts and has a physics degree from Boston’s Northeastern University.
Prosecutors said Ferdaus began planning jihad, or holy war, against the United States in 2010 after becoming convinced through jihadi websites and videos that America was evil. He later contacted a federal informant and began meeting to discuss the plot with undercover agents.
A Muslim husband and wife convicted of planning a terror attack against Jews in Manchester, England, were jailed Friday.Both Muslims.
Shasta Khan, who was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of possessing information likely to be useful in an act of terrorism, was sentenced to eight years in prison. The 38-year-old hairdresser, who had pleaded not guilty, will serve four years minus the 350 days she spent on remand.
Her husband Mohammed Sajid Khan, 33, an unemployed car valet, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection, which means that after a minimum of seven-and-a-half years, his position will be regularly reviewed by a parole board. He had pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorism.
The sentences “reflect the fact that Mohammed Sajid Khan was clearly the dominant character in this terror plot, and we hope he spends a long time behind bars,” said Mark Gardner, spokesperson for the Community Security Trust, an organization which provides security advice, infrastructure and manpower to British Jews. “We will never know if Shasta Khan would have turned to terrorism had she not married her husband.”
The Khans were in the early stages of building a home-made bomb, following instructions they found on the internet, when their plot was discovered in July 2011. Police had been called to their home in Oldham, greater Manchester, following a domestic dispute.
They had spent months scouting out potential Jewish targets in Manchester, including two synagogues and the Jewish Agency building.
They couple, who had met on the internet in 2010 and married just six weeks later, had become radicalized by material they read on the internet, including an English-language magazine published by an al-Qaeda affiliate.
Both became would-be jihadist murderers based on stuff they read on the Internet.
Both chose targets that have only peripheral involvement with Israel.
Now, certainly they only represent a "tiny minority of Muslims" that we hear so much about.
But if that tiny minority is only 14% - which is the number of Muslims who felt 9/11 was completely or mostly justified - that is still tens of millions of adult Muslims who are potential jihadists. (And 23% felt that 9/11 was "partially" justified.)
It is not exactly a comforting thought.