4 arrested in Bronx terror plot sting

Four men were arrested Wednesday night after authorities say they foiled a terror plot in the Bronx that targeted a synagogue, a Jewish center and military aircraft. The FBI says the men planned to detonate

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2009, 12:31 AM

Updated 5,531 days ago

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Four men were arrested Wednesday night after authorities say they foiled a terror plot in the Bronx that targeted a synagogue, a Jewish center and military aircraft.
The FBI says the men planned to detonate bombs outside the Riverdale Temple and Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx. According to investigators, the four men also wanted to use surface-to-air guided missiles to shoot down planes at the Air National Guard base in Newburgh, Orange County.
Officials say the arrests came after a yearlong undercover operation that began in Newburgh.
The four men were arrested shortly after planting a mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the back seat of a car outside the Riverdale Jewish Center, authorities say. Investigators say the men thought the mock explosives, supplied by an FBI informant, were real.
James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, all of Newburgh, were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use of anti-aircraft missiles, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.
Rep. Peter King (R?Seaford) says the plot is proof that home-grown terrorists are living among the U.S. population.
?We can rest assured tonight because this plot was stopped, but we don't know how many others were out there and it's why we never let our guard down and we have to be extremely vigilant and realize the true diabolical nature of this enemy,? says King.
Many in Long Island?s Jewish community are telling News 12 that the news of the alleged terror plot hit a little too close to home. Police in Nassau and Suffolk say they already patrol local synagogues, but will be even more vigilant going forward.
Mineola Rabbi Anchelle Perl says the alleged plot serves as a reminder that ?we are always having to be aware of these things and realize that the world isn't the way it looks.?
The four suspects appeared at the federal courthouse in White Plains Thursday, where they were appointed lawyers. New York City Police Chief Ray Kelly says the men told authorities they planned the bombings in retaliation for Muslims recently killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan and because of their hatred of Jews. All four of the men are Muslims. Three are American citizens and the fourth is Haitian.
AP wire reports contributed to this article.
Click Next on the video player for extended News 12 Long Island coverage of the terror plot bust.


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