(CNN)Two Florida brothers who were arrested in 2012 for plotting to attack landmarks in New York City on Thursday entered guilty pleas for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Two brothers enter terrorism guilty pleas
Raees Alam Qazi, 20, claimed to be avenging deaths by drone strikes in Afghanistan when he actively searched for targets to bomb on Wall Street and in Times Square.
Using instructions published in al Qaeda's magazine "Inspire," Qazi conspired to make a homemade bomb and when he was arrested had in his possession Christmas tree lights, wires, batteries, hydrogen peroxide and other materials listed in the terror group's publication in a section entitled "Open Source Jihad."
Raees' brother, Sheheryar, was aware of his sibling's plan and actively encouraged him to carry out attacks according to court documents. In a conversation with an FBI confidential human source, Sheheryar was recorded telling the informant that he sent his brother on a trip to Afghanistan, which ultimately failed when he was unable to cross the border from Pakistan and returned to Florida. Sheheryar also acknowledged that his brother had been trying to contact the "guys from Yemen," referring to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The two brothers entered their guilty pleas Thursday in a courtroom in Miami.
On Nov. 23, 2012, Raees believed to have evaded further surveillance of FBI agents, shaved his beard and traveled to New York City. On Nov. 27, he called his older brother to inform him he was unable to carry out his task. In response, Sheheryar said, "Practice over here then you may return you know ... I will give you complete freedom."
Raees faces up to life imprisonment on various charges while prosecutor's have recommended a sentence of 180 months with three years of supervised release. Sentencing will be held in June.