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Pakistan-Born Brothers Sentenced For Plotting To Bomb New York City

 A combo photo shows Sheheryar Qazi (L) and Raees Qazi.
A combo photo shows Sheheryar Qazi (L) and Raees Qazi.

Two Pakistani-born brothers, one of whom bicycled around New York City to scope out targets, were given maximum prison sentences June 11 for plotting to explode a bomb in the city in 2012.

Raees Qazi was sentenced to 35 years and Sheheryar Qazi to 20 years by a federal court in Florida.

The brothers, naturalized U.S. citizens aged 22 and 32, respectively, had pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in March.

They were accused of trying to support Al-Qaeda by using a weapon of mass destruction, though they never carried out an attack.

Raees Qazi told investigators that he bicycled around New York City prospecting targets, and inquired about the size of crowds at Times Square, Wall Street, and some New York City theaters.

He admitted to using an Al-Qaeda online publication to build an explosive from Christmas tree light bulbs.

But he never chose a target and returned home to Florida after running out of money.

His brother, a former taxi driver, supported the plot by paying bills, and providing a computer and cell phone, prosecutors said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa