Two Pakistan-origin brothers jailed for NY terrorist plotPakistan
MIAMI: A federal judge imposed the maximum possible prison sentences on Thursday on two Pakistan-born brothers who admitted trying to pull off a terrorist bomb attack against New York City landmarks and later assaulted two deputy US marshals while in custody.
District Judge Beth Bloom compared the plot, which never got past the planning stages, to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings in which the two attackers used commonplace pressure cookers.
In the Florida case, evidence shows the younger brother, 22-year-old Raees Alam Qazi, researched how to make bombs on the Internet using readily available items such as Christmas tree lights and chemicals.
“You are a terrorist. Evil in nature and evil in your deeds,” Mr Bloom said to Raees Qazi. “You chose to engage in conduct that can only be described as evil and reprehensible.”
The judge sentenced Raees Qazi to 35 years in prison while his brother, 32-year-old Sheheryar Alam Qazi, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Both sentences were three years above those recommended by prosecutors and defence attorneys in a March plea deal.
Sheheryar got a lesser sentence because his main role was to back his brother financially as he sought to actively plan an attack, according to court documents.
Mr Bloom said evidence showed Sheheryar was fully aware of and supported the plot. “Your assistance allowed your brother to continue with his evil plan,” he said, adding that the FBI investigation and arrests “prevented what could have been a tragic loss of many lives”.
The two brothers, who lived in Broward County, Florida, were arrested there in November 2012 after Raees returned from New York by bus following a target scouting mission and possibly an aborted attack, authorities said.
Neither man said anything beyond simple one-word answers to the judge’s questions, and Sheheryar spent the hearing busily writing on a yellow legal pad with his head bowed. Their attorneys also declined comment in court and outside.
Published in Dawn June 12th, 2015
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