PHILADELPHIA — A 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.
Kia Reid, who described herself as Christian, donned gloves to craft the note from magazine clippings and then left it in Nina Timani’s office, prosecutors said.
Timani said during a victim impact statement that she had spent months wondering who sent the anonymous note and fearing that her two young children would be harmed.
Timani said she was stunned when an FBI investigation led to the 35-year-old 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.
Reid said she sent the letter in anger, not in hatred, after she had been unable to get help with a workplace dispute at the airport Sheraton Suites Hotel.
“I thought all of the nonsense that was going on would stop,” the mother of three teenage children explained Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter.
Reid did not detail the nature of the work dispute. The Philadelphia woman 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.
Timani, a practicing Muslim born in Egypt, said she sought help from the FBI over the objections of her 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 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 faiths,” she said.
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