March 17, 2013

Catch & Release

Two reports recently caught our attention.

The first, “Stopping Terror the New York Way” (first piece below), was written by Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr. and deals with the case of Algerian immigrant Ahmed Ferhani, who was convicted for plotting to blow up New York City synagogues, and sentenced this Friday in State Supreme Court. 

Mr. Vance cites the case as a successful example of the “powerful new tools” given by NYS to local prosecutors to prevent future terrorist attacks.

And indeed it was, i.e., a success, except for one thing. Apparently, trying to blow up synagogues and murder hundreds if not thousands of people in NY will get you only 10 years in prison, and deportation when released!

The second report, entitled "Palestinian airline bomber to be released from US prison," is about Jordanian-born Palestinian bomber, Mohammed Rashed, who set off a bomb on Pan Am flight 83 that exploded as the plane crossed the Pacific Ocean, filling the rear passenger cabin with smoke, screams and blood, and killing a Japanese teenager. Investigators linked this 1982 attack to a terrorist organization known for making sophisticated bombs. You can read the piece (second piece below) for gory details of the case and Mr. Rashed’s nefarious dealings with other known terrorists.

Now, after serving a 20-year sentence, Mr. Rashed is scheduled to be released from U.S. federal prison in 3 days. He will then be “deported to a country of his choice.”

In light of these two reports, our question is: Why are convicted mass-murdering terrorists being released from U.S. jails AT ALL, much less given tickets to fly anywhere?!

New York Post  |  March 16, 2013

Stopping Terror The New York Way

By Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

Ahmed Ferhani.jpg
Ahmed Ferhani stands before a judge during his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court May 12, 2011. (credit: Louis Lanzano-Pool/Getty Images; courtesy:

After the Twin Towers crumbled on 9/11, New York state gave local prosecutors some powerful new tools to try to prevent future terrorist attacks. In Manhattan, we’re using them.

Yesterday, Ahmed Ferhani was sentenced in state Supreme Court to 10 years in prison. It marked the first time a defendant plotting terrorist acts was convicted under New York’s post-9/11 terrorism laws.

Ferhani had one overarching goal – to terrorize Jewish New Yorkers by blowing up synagogues. In the moments before his arrest, he bought a grenade and three handguns from an undercover officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, fully intending to carry out his attack. ...more here.

Times of Israel  | March 17, 2013

Palestinian Airline Bomber To Be Released From US Prison
Man who placed explosive device on Pan Am flight to Hawaii goes free after 20 years

By Eric Tucker and Randy Herschaft

Mohammed Rashed.jpg
Mohammed Rashed, center, convicted of the 1982 Pan Am jetliner bombing, listens to his unidentified PLO interpreter, left, during his appeals court hearing in Athens, Greece in December 1991 (photo credit: AP/Aris Saris, File) Courtesy: Times of Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mohammed Rashed slipped a bomb beneath the jetliner seat cushion, set the timer and disembarked with his wife and child when the plane landed in Tokyo. The device exploded as Pan Am Flight 830 continued on to Honolulu, killing a Japanese teenager in a 1982 attack that investigators linked to a terrorist organization known for making sophisticated bombs.

It would be 20 years before the bomber — and one-time apprentice to Abu Ibrahim, currently featured on the FBI list of most wanted terrorists — would admit guilt in an American courtroom.

Now, credited for his cooperation against associates, Rashed will be released from federal prison within days after more than two decades in custody in Greece and the United States.

The release does more than spring loose a convicted terrorist. It also could deprive the government of a star witness in the event that Ibrahim, a Palestinian master bomb-maker who authorities say orchestrated the Pan Am attack and similar strikes around the world, is ever captured. A former top lieutenant, Rashed would be able to implicate Ibrahim as the architect of the attack and help establish his identity in case prosecutors ever had a chance to bring him to the U.S. to face justice. Once freed, it’s not clear that he would continue cooperating, though the Justice Department says it has enough other evidence for a conviction. ...more here


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