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Pakistani-American Brothers Sentenced in NYC Terror Plot

  • VOA News

FILE - Broward Sheriff's Office booking photographs show Sheheryar Qazi, left, and Raees Qazi on November 29, 2012.

FILE - Broward Sheriff's Office booking photographs show Sheheryar Qazi, left, and Raees Qazi on November 29, 2012.

Two Pakistani-American brothers were sentenced to long prison terms Thursday for a bomb plot to attack New York City in 2012.

Raees Qazi, 22, and Sheheryar Qazi, 32, both naturalized U.S. citizens from Pakistan, were sentenced to 35 years and 20 years respectively by a court in the southern state of Florida.

They pleaded guilty in Miami last March to terrorism charges after being accused of plotting to detonate a bomb in New York City. The brothers also pleaded guilty to assaulting two U.S. Marshals while being escorted in the Miami court complex.

Authorities say the alleged plot never got beyond planning stages. The FBI says Raees Qazi traveled to New York in 2012 to scout targets but didn't attempt any attacks. He was arrested after returning to Broward County, Florida, where the brothers lived.

During the hearing at which he pleaded guilty, he admitted to using an al-Qaida online publication to build an explosive from Christmas tree light bulbs.

Sheheryar Qazi, a former taxi driver, supported the plot by paying bills, and providing a computer and cell phone.

In calls to his brother, Raees Qazi asked about the size of crowds at Times Square, Wall Street and at some New York City theaters, the FBI said.

Both brothers pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to assault a federal employee. Raees Qazi also pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Portions of this report are from Reuters.

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