An American man from Connecticut, located almost 160km east of New York, pleaded guilty for shooting at a mosque next door to his home in what is reported to be a federal hate crime.
The 48 year old man, Ted Hakey, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally damaging religious property by using a dangerous weapon, US Attorney Deirdre Daly said in Connecticut.
Hakey’s plea was entered before US District Judge Michael Shea in Hartford.
The defendant faces eight to 14 months under recommended federal guidelines but may face up to 20 years in prison at his May 10 sentencing, he also faces a maximum $250,000 fine while remaining free on a $400,000 bail.
Hakey was reported by local media sources as being a former marine.
Lawyers for Hakey did not respond to requests for comments.
Hakey fired four shots with a rifle at the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden in the early morning of November 14, 2015, after learning about the attacks in Paris by DAESH the day before, authorities said.
No one was injured during the shootings.
Investigators found numerous Facebook postings in which the defendant had expressed hatred for Muslims.
Hate crimes towards mosques in America have been on the rise since the start of 2013 with a total of 71 cases reported last year.