Thursday, May 21, 2009

FBI Arrest Four in Alleged Homegrown Terror Plot in New York

Via NYDailyNews -

The FBI busted a homegrown terror cell late Wednesday night as the men sneaked around a Jewish temple in Riverdale planting what they thought was packages of C-4 explosives, sources told the Daily News.

The four African American men, three of whom were said to be jailhouse converts to Islam, also allegedly had what they believed was a working Stinger missile in their car.

Officials said they hoped to shoot down a plane at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh in Orange County.

Sources said the four men were arrested after a year-long investigation that began when an informant connected to a mosque in Newburgh said he knew men who wanted to buy explosives.

FBI agents posing as militants sold them what they thought was 30 pounds of C-4 and a plane-downing Stinger missile.

The weaponry was all phony.

The men were arrested as they planted fake bombs in front of the Riverdale Temple in the Bronx and under cars parked in front of the synagogue.

They also allegedly planned to blow up a nearby Jewish Community Center.

Witnesses said an NYPD vehicle blocked a black SUV outside the temple and then officers broke in the windows and handcuffed the four men inside the car.

All four men were US-born.

Arrested was alleged ringleader James Cromitie of Newburgh, the son of an Afghan immigrant and his African American wife.

Cromitie served a long stretch in prison in the past.

Alleged henchment David Williams, Onta Williams and Leguerre Payen were busted with him.

Sources said the three were jailhouse converts to Islam.

"This shows the real risks we face from homegrown terror and jailhouse converts, and the need for constant vigilance," said Rep. Pete King (R-NY).

The four alleged terrorists are expected to be arraigned Thursday in White Plains federal court.

"These guys were angry, they had intent and they were searching for capacity," a senior federal law enforcement official told The News.

But, the official added, "It's not exactly Al Qaeda."


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