Alleged terror plot disrupted by New York officials, FBI
Four men planned attacks against Jewish and military targets, according to authorities.
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The four who are charged are James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen. According to news reports, quoting US officials, three of the men are US citizens, and one is of Haitian descent. The Associated Press says three are converts to Islam.Skip to next paragraph
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The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the largest Arab-American civil rights organization, issued a statement Thursday condemning the purported effort. "This alleged act of hate is absolutely unacceptable," said Kareem Shora, ADC's national executive director, in a statement. The ADC also said that hate-motivated violence is not associated with nor representative of any specific race, religion, or ethnicity.
The plot is alleged to have begun last June, when Mr. Cromitie told an FBI informant that he was upset over the killing of Muslims in Pakistan and the war in Afghanistan, where he said his parents had lived. He told the informant if he were to die a martyr, he would go to "paradise," according to the complaint. The informant told Cromitie he had links to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US government.
In late April, Cromitie and David Williams are alleged to have purchased a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol for use during the planned attacks. Then, in early May, the complaint says, Cromitie, David Williams, and Mr. Payen drove with the informant toward Stamford, Conn., to obtain what they thought would be a surface-to-air guided missile and three improvised explosive devices containing 30 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives. Both had been neutralized by the FBI.
According to the complaint, the informant told the men he had obtained the material from Jaish-e-Mohammed.
"While the weapons provided to the defendants by the cooperating witness were fake, the defendants thought they were absolutely real," said Acting US Attorney Lev Dassin in a statement.
The men are now charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to acquire and use antiaircraft missiles. The maximum penalty for both charges is life in prison.
• News wires were used in this story.