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Pakistani National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Bomb Florida Electric Stations - 2002-08-08


In Florida, a young Pakistani national has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bomb electrical power stations in and around Miami.

Nineteen-year-old Imran Mandhai faces up to 20 years in prison, after pleading guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to damage or destroy property through violent means.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said an informant recorded Mandhai and a co-conspirator, Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, plotting to bomb several south Florida power stations, as well as the Israeli consulate in Miami and several Jewish-run businesses and organizations.

"There are various electrical power sub-stations in Miami Dade and Broward counties that Mr. Mandhai and Mr. Jokhan had conspired to blow up. According to the indictment, these two individuals wanted to issue a list of demands after the completion of their acts," Mr. Sloman said.

The demands would reportedly have included freeing all Muslims detained in the United States in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, as well as a cut-off of U.S. aid to Israel.

Jokhan, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Trinidad and Tobago, pleaded guilty to a similar charge late last month.

Relatives said Imran Mandhai may have spoken of violence, but never intended to carry out any crimes. Mandhai's aunt, Fatima Gadit, told reporters her nephew decided to plead guilty, fearing he would not get a fair trial, given the public's heightened fears about terrorism.

"All he did was just talk, and children go through this phase. They just talk, and that is all that they do. And, when it actually came to it, he did not do anything. He backed out and said, 'Look, I do not want anything to do with it,'" Mr. Gadit said.

Mandhai is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

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