Man Pleads Guilty to Terror Bomb Plot

ByABC News
August 9, 2002, 10:11 AM

— -- 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 pleadedguilty today to conspiring to carry out a terrorist plot to bombpower stations, a National Guard armory and local Jewishbusinesses.

Imran Mandhai, 19, faces between five and 20 years in prisonafter pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage anddestroy property by means of fire and explosives.

Mandhai is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District JudgeWilliam Dimitrouleas on Oct. 17.

His co-conspirator, Shueyb Mossa Jokhan, pleaded guilty on July25 to the same charge. Jokhan, a naturalized U.S. citizen fromTrinidad, told the judge that he and the Pakistani immigrantscouted targets in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in pursuit oftheir jihad, or holy war.

The U.S. attorney's office said today that Mandhai admittedto conspiring with Jokhan to bomb power stations and a NationalGuard armory. He said the attacks were to be followed with a listof demands for the United States government and other governmentsaround the world.

Authorities said the two men also wanted to obtain AK-47 typeassault weapons for their jihad training and operations. They alsowanted to win the release from custody of an individual describedas 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 stationsin Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach and Miami Lakes, and near MiamiInternational Airport in meetings recorded by an informant in April2001, prosecutors said.

They also planned attacks on the Israeli consulate in Miami,Jewish-owned businesses in Weston, and Jewish Community Centers inAventura and Broward County, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Slomansaid at a May hearing.

"Jokhan even mentioned Mount Rushmore," Sloman said.

They hoped the bombings would create chaos and they could makevarious demands, including no help for Israel, freedom for allMuslims in U.S. jails and an American withdrawal from the MiddleEast, prosecutors said.

Sloman and Leonard Fenn, Mandhai's court-appointed lawyer, didnot immediately return phone calls.

The Associated Press

Jewish Charities Complain About High Rate Terrorism InsuranceM I A M I, Aug. 8 Jewish charities around the country say theirinsurance premiums are climbing out of sight because of fears ofterrorist attacks on their buildings, forcing them to cut programsfor children, the elderly and the poor.

"The word `Jewish' is an unwelcome word in the world ofinsurance today," said Mike Scheinblum, who volunteers as riskmanager for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, which raises moneyfor dozens of Miami Jewish agencies. He called the premiumincreases for Jewish groups "passive discrimination."

In some cases, Jewish organizations have reported that premiumsfor property insurance have doubled since Sept. 11.

Some insurance companies are no longer offering terrorismcoverage as part of their overall property insurance policies, orthey are offering it at prohibitive rates.

As a result, some Jewish organizations are going withoutterrorism coverage, leaving themselves open to financial ruin iftheir buildings or employees are attacked.

"It would bankrupt a nonprofit to have terrorism insurance,"said Lewis Stolzenberg, executive director of the Jewish CommunityCenter of New York City's Staten Island. The agency is facing anoverall insurance increase of 50 percent to $500,000 and has had toeliminate a shuttle service for senior citizens.

The higher premiums are in addition to the tens of thousands ofdollars that some Jewish charities are spending on security,including 24-hour guards and surveillance equipment.

Insurance industry representatives deny Jewish groups are beingsingled out. They say other businesses and nonprofit groups arealso seeing their premiums rise, too, because of the danger ofterrorism.