Terror Charge Reduced Against Men in Synagogue Attack Scheme

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    The top terror charge has been reduced against two men accused of plotting to blow up synagogues in New York City.

    Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including criminal possession of a weapon as a terror crime.

    But a grand jury evidently rejected the initial top charge against them, conspiracy as a terror crime in the first degree. It carried the potential for life in prison.

    The top charge, fourth-degree conspiracy as a terror crime in the first degree, now carries up to 32 years if they're convicted.

    Bloomberg, Kelly on Terror Arrests [Raw]

    [NY] Bloomberg, Kelly on Terror Arrests [Raw]
    Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly explain their investigation into and arrests of Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who are accused of planning to bomb synagogues in a terror plan. (Published Thursday, May 12, 2011)

    Mamdouh's lawyer calls the charges "significantly" reduced.

    Ferhani's lawyer calls the case "bogus." She says authoritiesknew he'd repeatedly been institutionalized for psychiatric problems.

    The Manhattan district attorney says the men's intentions amounted to an act of terrorism.