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Brothers get decades in jail over plot to attack NYC

A pair of brothers was sentenced to decades behind bars on Thursday for terrorism charges stemming from a 2012 plot to attack New York City.

Floridians Raees, 22, and 32-year-old Sheheryar Qazi were sentenced to 35 and 20 years in prison, respectively, for the plot as well as for assaulting federal officials while in custody.

“Today’s sentencing of the Qazi brothers represents the final chapter for two men who wished to bring harm and mass destruction to Americans on U.S. soil,” Stacia Hylton, the head of the U.S. Marshals Service, said in a statement. “Their sentences demonstrate that justice prevailed.”

In March, both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorism.

According to federal charges, Raees plotted to blow up multiple New York City landmarks, including Wall Street and Time Square, in 2012. As part of that plan, he traveled to Pakistan in 2011 and allegedly made contact with Islamic extremists.

He had also taken hints from the al Qaeda online magazine Inspire about how to build a bomb using Christmas tree lightbulbs, which officials said could have been used as part of the plot.

His older brother had encouraged him in the planned attack and supported him financially.

The two were arrested in Florida in November of 2012, after Raees traveled to New York to survey possible attack sites.

Afterwards, while being moved within a courthouse complex in Miami, they simultaneously attached two deputy U.S. marshals, but were overwhelmed.

“You chose to engage in conduct that can only be defined as evil and reprehensible,” District Judge Beth Bloom told the younger brother on Thursday, according to The Miami Herald. 

Both men are naturalized U.S. citizens from Pakistan.