News and Press Releases

Shahawar Matin Siraj Sentenced to Thirty Years of Imprisonment for Conspiring to Place Explosives at the 34th Street Subway Station

January 8, 2007

Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced that SHAHAWAR MATIN SIRAJ was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for his role in conspiring to plant explosive devices at the 34th Street subway station in Manhattan in August 2004, just prior to start of the Republican National Convention at nearby Madison Square Garden. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States District Judge Nina Gershon, at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. SIRAJ was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn on May 24, 2006, following a five-week trial.

SIRAJ is the second individual convicted for participating in this plot. In October 2004, James Elshafay pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage or destroy a subway station by means of an explosive, and testified against SIRAJ at his trial. Elshafay’s sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

At trial, the government proved that SIRAJ and Elshafay plotted to plant explosive devices at the Herald Square subway station in order to disrupt commerce and transportation in New York City and damage the economy. The evidence included hours of secretly recorded conversations between SIRAJ and Osama Eldawoody, an Egyptian nuclear engineer who became a paid informant for the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division, in which SIRAJ expressed his hatred for America and discussed his desire to place explosives on various bridges and in subway stations in New York City, including the subway station at 34th Street. In furtherance of their scheme, on August 21, 2004, SIRAJ and Elshafay inspected the station, and later drew diagrams of the location in order to help them place a bomb. When arrested on August 27, 2004, neither SIRAJ nor Elshafay possessed any explosive material.

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of law enforcement, the defendants’ plot did not advance beyond the planning stage, and the public was never at risk,” stated United States AttorneyMauskopf. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to stop would-be terrorists before they act, and will apply all available resources to secure the safety of our residents.” Ms. Mauskopf praised the outstanding work of the New York City Police Department, and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force for their assistance.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Harrison and Marshall L. Miller of the Eastern District’s Violent Crimes and Terrorism Section.

The Defendant:

DOB: 05/26/82


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