PHILADELPHIA: An American woman who sent her Arab-American boss a threatening note that warned Remember 9/11 and You and your kids will pay was sentenced Wednesday to eight months in a federal halfway house.
The recipient, Nina Timani, said she spent months wondering who sent the anonymous note and fearing that her children would be harmed.
She was stunned when the FBI investigation led to Kia Reid, whom she had mentored and befriended during nine years together at a Philadelphia hotel.
How could you – when you have written that you want to tie my kids to the fence – play with my daughter at a … picnic? Timani asked during a wrenching victim-impact statement.
Reid said she sent the letter in anger, not in hatred.
She told the judge she had been unable to get help with a workplace dispute even after meeting with Timani and the human resources department at the airport Sheraton Suites Hotel.
The 35-year-old Reid, who has three teenage children, donned gloves to craft the note from magazine clippings and then left it in Reid s office, prosecutors said.
I thought all of the nonsense that was going on would stop, Reid explained Wednesday to US District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter.
Reid, who described herself as Christian, did not detail the nature of the work dispute. She was arrested in October 2006 after an FBI informant recorded her discussing the note.
She later pleaded guilty to one count of sending a threatening hate note, a misdemeanor.
The judge probed Reid s cultural attitudes at length before announcing the sentence. Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison term.
Reid lost her job after her arrest and said she has since been volunteering at a mosque that her sister, a convert to Islam, attends.
She nodded in agreement when Timani pointed to the red scarf she had on and recounted how she had bought the same one for Reid after Reid admired it.
Timani, a practicing Muslim born in Egypt, said she sought help from the FBI over the objections of her husband. They have two young children.
I defied my husband. I defied convention because I had to know who was going to kill me and my kids, she said.
Timani said that her father, a California surgeon, could not fly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks because he was mistakenly listed on a no-fly list. Her brother took an American name in order to blend in after his Dallas home was egged and stoned, she said.
I came forward for my kids, she said. I have found my inner peace by helping spread tolerance to people of other faith, she said. Associated Press