March 16, 2015

USA: Two Muslim Pakistani Brothers Who Planned Mass Casualty Terrorism Attack In NYC Plead Guilty To Terrrorism Charges

The Clarion Project
written by Staff
Sunday March 15, 2015

Two Pakistani men face decades in prison after pleading guilty in a Miami court to federal terrorism charges. Raees Alam Qazi, 22, and his brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, plotted a mass casualty attack in New York City, assaulted two deputy U.S. marshals while in custody and conspired to provide material support to Al Qaeda.

The brothers entered into a plea bargain agreement, after originally being charged with attempted murder of the marshals, who they hit in the face and wrested with while yelling “Allahu Akhbar [God is great].”

The plea bargain was specifically worded in such a way that the brothers would not face life in prison due to the assault, according to Jay Weaver, the Miami Herald’s federal courts reporter.

The brothers said they had planned to attack major New York landmarks around Christmas time. Raees spent a number of days scouting out targets in Manhattan and planned to use Christmas tree bulbs as explosives. Both said they were angry at the U.S. for its use of drones to kill terrorists in Pakistan.

The evidence against the brothers included information gleaned from a wiretap conducted by the FBI as well as surveillance of other communications due to the National Security Agency (NSA) monitoring their cell phones.

According to the federal prosecutor, Karen Gilbert, internet sites “encouraged brothers in the West to conduct violent jihad and how to select targets in the attack.”

The prosecutor also said that Raees “conducted intense computer research regarding Al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction.”

Raees faces up to 35 years in prison while his older brother faces up to 20 years. The brothers' defense lawyer together with the prosecutor recommended that the two receive 17-year sentences, however, the judge made it clear that she is under no obligation to accept those recommendations and that she may decide on a more severe punishment.

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