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Crackhead and Purse Snatcher Behind N.Y. Plot to Bomb 2 Synagogues and Shoot Down Military Aircraft

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It’s dumbfounding to uncover these type of homegrown plots. Who knows how many other little groups there are out there.

By MICHAEL WILSON
New York Times
NEW YORK — They were four ex-convicts – one a crack addict, another whose most recent arrest involved snatching purses – and they gathered their terror tools as they went.

They bought cellphones, the authorities said; they bought a camera in a Wal-Mart to take photographs of the synagogues in New York City that they wanted to blow up. When their attempt to buy guns in Newburgh, N.Y., fell through – their gun dealer told them she had sold out – they drove downstate, buying a $700 pistol from a Bloods gang leader in Brooklyn.

After months of planning, the authorities allege, the men had their first real scare this month, driving to Stamford, Conn., to pick up a surface-to-air missile that was waiting for them in a warehouse. One of the men in the car believed they were being followed by law enforcement, so they returned to Newburgh, drove around until they were satisfied they were in the clear, then went back to Stamford for their missile and bombs.

They brought them back to Newburgh, locked them in a storage container, and celebrated, shouting, “Allah akbar!”

These details as told by the authorities describe a homegrown terror plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down a military aircraft in Newburgh. The outlines of the plan were fleshed out on Thursday, in court hearings, documents and interviews, as were bits and pieces of the checkered life stories of the four men charged in the plot.

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