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Feds Arrest 4 Men in Plot to Bomb Bronx Synagogue and Shoot Down Military Planes at N.Y. Military Base

bronx-imagesIt’s easy to become complacent when nothing happens for a while. Then along comes something like this to remind us that all is not well.

By Sewell Chan
New York Times
NEW YORK — Federal authorities arrested four men on Wednesday night on charges of plotting to bomb a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and to use antiaircraft missiles to shoot down military planes at a military base in Newburgh, N.Y., 60 miles north of New York City.

The charges, which include conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, represent some of the most significant allegations of domestic terrorism in some time. They come months into a new presidential administration, and as President Obama grapples with the question of how to handle detainees at the Guantánamo naval base in Cuba.

The four defendants – whom federal authorities identified as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, all of Newburgh, in Orange County – are to appear in Federal District Court in White Plains, in Westchester County, on Thursday morning.

Though Mr. Cromitie, who is described as the lead defendant, is said to have told an F.B.I. informer that he had ties with Jaish-e-Muhammad, a jihadist group based in Pakistan, none of the defendants actually obtained weapons of mass destruction, according to the authorities.

The men were, however, given an antiaircraft missile system that was incapable of being fired, as well as homemade bombs containing inert plastic explosives, as part of the undercover investigation, the authorities said.

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Updated New York Times Version

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