Second N.Y. man charged in Sept. 11-timed robbery plot
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By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A second New York man has been charged with participating in a plot to rob a store around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in which his accomplices planned to wear traditional Muslim attire and display a fake bomb, federal officials said.
Atthis Daugherty, 37, was arrested on Thursday and charged in a criminal complaint in federal court in Manhattan with conspiracy and attempted robbery, a spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said on Monday.
His arrest came two days after authorities brought charges against Juneal Ali, 29, who they said planned to rob a check-cashing store in the Bronx borough on the 15th anniversary of the hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington.
According to charging papers, Daugherty participated in a meeting to plan the robbery, in which Ali and another individual were to would drive to the store dressed in Muslim attire, display a fake bomb and force employees to give them cash.
While initially planned for Sept. 11, the robbery was postponed two days after the unnamed third accomplice reported too many people were around, the complaint said.
Rather than go through with the robbery, the unnamed accomplice, who had been recruited by Daugherty, instead went to the police and became a cooperating witness, the complaint said.
Prosecutors have said that Ali drove to the cooperating witness's home on Sept. 13, where authorities were waiting.
At a hearing on Thursday, a federal magistrate judge said Daugherty, a resident of the Bronx, could be released on a $150,000 bond, according to court records.
Eric Sears, his lawyer, said he was still looking into the charges but said prosecutors have failed to allege Daugherty did anything other than participate in a conversation.
"You can see from the complaint that my client is not alleged to have taken any active role and is not alleged to have done anything," he said.
Susan Marcus, Ali's lawyer, at a court hearing last week likewise downplayed her client's role.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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