Yesterday, Shahawar Matin Siraj, who had been convicted of plotting to bomb the West 34th Street subway station at Herald Square, was
However, federal Judge Nine Gershon felt that the government proved that Siraj was leading the group to bomb the subway, even if they didn't have supplies or a timetable. From the NY Times:
Judge Gershon, when she handed down the sentence, noted that while some of the recordings captured Mr. Siraj saying the attack should occur at the time the station was the least busy, it would nonetheless have been deadly and devastating.
“The crimes committed here were extremely serious,” she said. “They had the potential, if not thwarted, to wreak havoc with the New York City transportation system, indeed, the tristate-area transportation system.”
She added that such an attack would have meant enormous economic losses, disruption and loss of life.
Siraj will be deported back to Pakistan after he serve his 30 year sentence. Siraj's parents also face deportation for unrelated issues.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called Siraj's sentence "a milestone in the safeguarding of New York City." However, Siraj's lawyer Martin Stolar criticized the police, saying, "The NYPD was able to create a crime in order to solve it and claim a victory in the war on terrorism."