A federal judge decided on Thursday that a Queens woman who planned to build a bomb and begin a terrorist attack against the New Yorkers to go behind bars for the next ten years.
Asia Siddiqui, 35, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on a Thursday in Brooklyn at the Federal Court in August, who pleaded guilty to posting online information about the construction and use of an explosive.
Siddiqui said on Thursday that, when trying to get more followers to her blog, she first heard jihad online rhetoric.
She encountered Samir Khan, an Al Qaeda member who edited Inspire, a militant magazine in English. At the request of Khan, Siddiqui started writing poems for Jihad Recollections website.
Siddiqui, wearing brown prison garb and headscarf, said Thursday to “I began to reflect upon the poems I had written on Jihad recollections only after I had been arrested.”
The prosecutors said that Siddiqui and Velentzas, her former roommate, first started to learn how to build a bomb in 2013. They decided to use weapons on police and military personnel, and they even celebrated the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The pair also discussed explosives used in the bombing of Oklahoma City, the explosion of the Boston Marathon, and the 1993 invasion by the World Trade Center.
“You go up for the head,” said Velentzas, according to prosecutors, about attacking law enforcement officials.
Charges And Punishment
Both were charged in 2015 by the FBI. The prosecution emerged from a two-year FBI review.
The prosecutors stated that agents found propane gas tanks, car bombs in their homes, machetes, knives, and jihadist literature.
“The defendant was committed to violent jihad for long periods,” said Lawyer Craig Heeren.
The defense attorneys of Siddiqui said their tragedy and lonely clients had changed since they went to prison almost five years ago, to such an extent that the Federal Prisons Office was committed to their ethical conduct.
“She has certainly come a long way. I am impressed by Asia’s self-reflection,” said Linda Moreno, the defense lawyer.
Siddiqui, who has been imprisoned for 15 years, apologized for her actions. Velentzas is due to be sentenced on 5 March.