- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Americans, including one who complained the world was treating Muslims “like dogs,” bought guns and a grenade and wanted to carry out a terror plot against a New York synagogue, officials said Thursday.

One of the men also expressed interest in bombing the Empire State Building, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Ahmed Ferhani, a 26-year-old of Algerian descent, and Mohamed Mamdouh, a 20-year-old of Moroccan descent, plotted to bomb a “major synagogue” in Manhattan and bought several weapons and an inert hand grenade from an undercover officer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Officials said they had been watching Ferhani for several months and that he had said he was fed up with the way Muslims were treated around the world. He’s the one who expressed interest in the Empire State Building attack, Kelly said.

One of two Americans arrested for wanting to carry out a terror plot in New York City on May 12, 2011 had expressed interest in bombing the Empire State Building. (Associated Press)
One of two Americans arrested for wanting to carry out a terror ... more >

“They’re treating us like dogs,” Ferhani said once, according to Kelly.

Ferhani showed a pattern of growing anger, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.

“His plans became bigger and more violent with every passing week,” Vance said.

The men were charged under state terror laws.

New York City police have been on high alert for potential threats to the city since the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden over a week ago, though Kelly said the men had no apparent link to al Qaeda.

“We are concerned about lone wolves acting against New York city in the wake of the killing of bin Laden,” Bloomberg said. “Those perhaps are the toughest to stop.”