Man Pleads Guilty to Terrorist Bomb Plot
F O R T L A U D E R D A L E, Fla., Aug. 8 — A young Pakistani man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to carry out a terrorist plot to bomb power stations, a National Guard armory and local Jewish businesses.
Imran Mandhai, 19, faces between five and 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage and destroy property by means of fire and explosives.
Mandhai is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas on Oct. 17.
His co-conspirator, Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, pleaded guilty on July 25 to the same charge. Jokhan, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Trinidad, told the judge that he and the Pakistani immigrant scouted targets in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in pursuit of their jihad, or holy war.
The U.S. attorney's office said today that Mandhai admitted to conspiring with Jokhan to bomb power stations and a National Guard armory. He said the attacks were to be followed with a list of demands for the United States government and other governments around the world.
Authorities said the two men also wanted to obtain AK-47 type assault weapons for their jihad training and operations. They also wanted to win the release from custody of an individual described as a "mujahideen" fighter committed to their jihad.
Both men face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mandhai and Jokhan had discussed the bombing of power stations in Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach and Miami Lakes, and near Miami International Airport in meetings recorded by an informant in April 2001, prosecutors said.
They also planned attacks on the Israeli consulate in Miami, Jewish-owned businesses in Weston, and Jewish Community Centers in Aventura and Broward County, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said at a May hearing.
"Jokhan even mentioned Mount Rushmore," Sloman said.
They hoped the bombings would create chaos and they could make various demands, including no help for Israel, freedom for all Muslims in U.S. jails and an American withdrawal from the Middle East, prosecutors said.
Sloman and Leonard Fenn, Mandhai's court-appointed lawyer, did not immediately return phone calls.
— The Associated Press
Jewish Charities Complain About High Rate Terrorism Insurance
M I A M I, Aug. 8 — Jewish charities around the country say their insurance premiums are climbing out of sight because of fears of terrorist attacks on their buildings, forcing them to cut programs for children, the elderly and the poor.
"The word `Jewish' is an unwelcome word in the world of insurance today," said Mike Scheinblum, who volunteers as risk manager for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, which raises money for dozens of Miami Jewish agencies. He called the premium increases for Jewish groups "passive discrimination."
In some cases, Jewish organizations have reported that premiums for property insurance have doubled since Sept. 11.
Some insurance companies are no longer offering terrorism coverage as part of their overall property insurance policies, or they are offering it at prohibitive rates.
As a result, some Jewish organizations are going without terrorism coverage, leaving themselves open to financial ruin if their buildings or employees are attacked.