Pakistani-American Brothers Jailed for Planning New York Bombing, Assaulting Federal Agents
New York: Two Pakistani-American brothers were handed hefty jail terms in Florida on Thursday for terrorism and for assaulting two federal agents while in custody.
Raees Qazi, 22, and Sheheryar Qazi, 32, both naturalized US citizens from Pakistan, were sentenced to 35 years and 20 years respectively by Judge Beth Bloom in the southern district of Florida.
They pleaded guilty in Miami last March to terrorism charges after being accused of planning to bomb New York.
Although the attack never got past the planning stages, police said they found material in their Florida apartment that could be used to make a bomb.
The pair also pleaded guilty to attacking two federal employees while being escorted to court in 2014.
Raees confessed to wanting to carry out an attack in New York, and was encouraged by his older brother to travel to Afghanistan and then by al Qaeda’s Yemen offshoot to attack within the United States.
He never made it to Afghanistan, but admitted to consulting al Qaeda’s online English-language magazine on how to build a bomb using Christmas tree lights.
Raees went to New York in November 2012 with the intention to carry out the attack, while his older brother lied to friends and family about his intentions and whereabouts, prosecutors said.
When he called from New York to say the attack had not happened, Sheheryar told him to come back to Florida to “practice over here” before heading back to the Big Apple, US officials said. - AFP