Florida Muslims relieved by sentencing of terrorist
The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today expressed relief that a terrorist convicted of plotting to bomb some 50 Islamic institutions in that state was given the maximum sentence of 12½ years by a Tampa judge.
Robert Goldstein, 38, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to violate civil rights, attempting to damage religious property and possession of bombs. Goldstein, who is Jewish, said he wanted to retaliate against Arabs and Muslims for the 9/11 terror attacks. His ex-wife was sentenced last week to three years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing explosives.
Under sentencing guidelines, Goldstein could have received as little as 10 years in prison, but the judge said the seriousness of the offense justified the maximum sentence.
“Florida’s Muslim community is pleased to see this disturbing episode come to an end,” said CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali. “We have been assured by the Assistant U.S. Attorney that all suspects in this plot are now behind bars.”
Ali urged Florida Muslims to go about their normal routines, but also cautioned the community to not let down its guard. He said that in recent months, his group has received several complaints of harassment and discrimination against Florida Muslims.
“We commend the members of Florida’s law enforcement community for their professional work in averting what could have been a deadly attack. We also thank the judge in this case for handing Goldstein the maximum sentence allowed under the law,” said CAIR-FL Communications Director Ahmed Bedier.
Bedier reminded Muslims to download the “Muslim Community Safety Kit” from CAIR-FL’s website: www.cair-florida.org
CAIR is America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 16 regional offices nationwide and in Canada. Since its founding in 1994, CAIR has defended the civil and religious rights of all Americans.