FL Muslims say Double Standard applied in Mosque bomb plot
The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today expressed concern about what the civil rights group called a “double standard” in a plea agreement arranged with a woman who allegedly took part in a plot to blow up Islamic institutions in that state.
Kristi Goldstein, 28, was suspected of planning, along with her husband, to blow up Florida Islamic sites in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Authorities say explosives, bomb-making materials, bulletproof vests, ammunition, and a list of 50 mosques and Islamic centers were found in the couple’s home in August of last year.
Under the agreement with prosecutors, Goldstein entered a guilty plea today to a single count of possession of illegal firearms, referring to five bombs that were to be used in the attacks. She also agreed to cooperate with authorities in testifying against her husband and others who may have been part of the terrorist cell.
At today’s hearing, Goldstein showed no remorse when entering her plea to the reduced charges and was released pending sentencing. She is expected to receive a three-year sentence.
“This was a clear case of terrorism directed at the Muslim community in Florida. Unfortunately, the case was not treated with the seriousness required by the nature of the charges or the potential loss of life that would have resulted had the terrorist plot been carried out,” said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali. Ali noted that to date, law enforcement authorities have refused to release the list of the Islamic institutions in Florida targeted in the Goldsteins’ plot. He added that many in Florida’s Islamic community believe the case would have been handled differently had the defendants been Muslims.
“We are pleased with the arrest and conviction of Ms. Goldstein, even though on reduced charges, but we are also concerned that other members of this terrorist cell may be at large and ready to carry out the original plot,” said CAIR-FL Communications Director Ahmed Bedier.