Defense lawyer: NYC temple plot case misguided

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A lawyer for an Algerian native accused of planning to blow up synagogues says her client was targeted as part of an alleged anti-Muslim campaign by New York City.

Lawyer Elizabeth Fink represented Ahmed Ferhani in a pre-trial hearing Tuesday. In court papers, Fink cites stories by The Associated Press that describe police efforts to monitor Muslim student groups. Police and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said the surveillance effort was legal and vital to protecting the city after the 2001 terror attacks.

Prosecutors complained Tuesday that the defense was grandstanding to get the charges dismissed.

The judge made no decision on the defense request.

Ferhani was arrested in May 2011. Authorities say he bought weapons as part of a plan to commit a violent act against a synagogue.