Ahmed Ferhani’s attorney says the Queens man, arrested last year in an alleged plot to bomb synogogues, was caught up in the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program.
A Queens man accused of plotting to bomb synagogues was entrapped by cops to justify the NYPD’s controversial Muslim spying program, his lawyers argued Tuesday.
Cops found a sucker in Ahmed Ferhani, said the lawyers, who described the 26-year-old Algerian immigrant as a mentally unstable, drug-abusing “mess.”
“They’re looking for people to target so they can justify their illegal and unconstitutional actions against Muslims,” defense attorney Elizabeth Fink said after the court appearance.
Fink cast the case as being about collusion between the NYPD and prosecutors — not her client’s alleged plot to dress up with his friend as Hasidic Jews and go on a rampage.
“What’s happening in the city of New York is evil, judge, and this case will expose that,” she said.
Prosecutors said this was neither the time nor the place to debate the NYPD program, which has been harshly criticized by Islamic and civil rights groups — and defended strongly by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“Much of what we’re hearing is simply political grandstanding,” prosecutor Gary Galperin said.
"This case should not address at all the conduct of the NYPD,” chimed-in prosecutor Margaret Gandy. “This is not the forum for that."
Ferhani, who is charged with terrorism and hate crimes, was busted in a sting operation last May that also ensnared his alleged accomplice — a 20-year-old Moroccan immigrant named Mohamed Mamdouh.
Police said they were caught on wiretaps discussing the plot — and that they arranged to buy a $700 arsenal from what turned out to be an undercover cop.
"He was committed to violent jihad, and his plan became bigger and more violent with each passing week," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said at the time.
Ferhani’s neighbors in Whitestone, however, said the dopey duo were “too stupid” to be terrorists.
Dressed in an orange jail outfit, Ferhani said nothing but grew agitated as prosecutors repeated inflammatory statements and threats he allegedly made against Jews and Christians.
Fink asked Judge Michael Obus to dismiss the indictment, arguing that Ferhani’s statements did not add up to a conspiracy and his weapons purchases were, at worst, “ordinary street crimes.”
Obus is expected to rule on Fink’s request on May 15.
After Ferhani was arrested, his mother insisted he was “set up.”
Meanwhile, Mamdouh — in a jailhouse interview with The Daily News — blamed Ferhani and claimed attacking synagogues was “all his idea.”