N.Y. / Region



May 21, 2009, 7:10 am

Updates in Terror Plot

Elizabeth McWilliamsKelly Shimoda for The New York Times Elizabeth McWilliams, the mother of the terror suspect David Williams, on the phone in her apartment complex in Newburgh, N.Y.

Updated, 5:36 p.m. | At Masjid al-Ikhlas, the mosque where James Cromitie, described as the leader of the four defendants, is said to have met with an F.B.I. informer, the imam, Salahuddin Mustafa Muhammad, stressed that none of the men were active
members of the mosque.

An assistant imam, Hamin Rashada, said he had counseled one of the defendants, Laguerre Payen, at a transition center in Newburgh for former prison inmates. Mr. Payen would drop into the center at least three times a week since he moved to Newburgh from Middletown in February, Mr. Rashada said, adding that Mr. Payen was quiet,evasive, penniless and unemployed.

Mr. Rashada said he believed Mr. Payen had “some very serious psychological problems,” but said Mr. Payen never discussed politics or violence. “That’s what puzzles me,” Mr. Rashada said. “I’m shocked.”

Mr. Rashada said Mr. Payen had been fighting a deportation order and had custody of a 3-year-old son. He said Mr. Payen had converted to Islam in prison but had only gone to the mosque a handful of times. “He has no involvement here,” Mr. Rashada said outside the mosque, which is also known as the Islamic Learning Center of Orange County.

Mr. Cromitie showed up at the mosque every few months. “He would come and
then he would disappear like a phantom,” Mr. Rashada said.

Mr. Muhammad, the imam, said the mosque is moderate, diverse and very involved in interfaith initiatives. “I am for cooperation, appreciation and respect,” he said, adding, “The majority of our members are hard-working people who love America.”

Updated, 2:47 p.m. | After years spent in prison, David Williams seemed to be getting his life in order by enrolling in college, working as a cook, and recommitting to his family, his mother Elizabeth McWilliams, 48, said Thursday morning outside her apartment in Newburgh.

“He is not who they say he is,” Ms. McWilliams said sitting on a concrete stoop behind which her front door showed a splintered boot print where an officer had kicked it in at 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

Having served time on a drug charge from late 2003 through 2006, Mr. Williams took a job as a saute chef at Boulder Creek Steakhouse in Brooklyn, Ms. McWilliams said. He also studied computers at ASA college on Lawrence Street in Brooklyn, she said.

A week ago, Mr. Williams became a father for the second time over, she said. In addition to an infant son, he has a 7-year-old daughter whom he had been making efforts to spend more time with, she said.

Ms. McWilliams said that Mr. Williams took a leave of absence from his job in March when the family feared that his youngest brother, who lives in Newburgh, had cancer.

“He came up here the same day that his brother went into the hospital,” Ms. McWilliams said. “The same day.”

Raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and with two younger brothers, Mr. Williams moved to Newburgh with his family several years ago. He left in 2003 when he was sent to prison and since moved back to Brooklyn.

He rarely talked about religion and never about politics, save for saying he was excited to vote for Barrack Obama last fall, his mother said.

She said he enjoyed working out and on many days could be seen hoisting a dumbbell on the grass outside the family’s apartment, a townhouse in a development of similar two-story, attached houses in Newburgh. Mr. Williams enjoyed playing baseball and basketball with the kids in the neighborhood.
He also wrote poetry, she said, journals of which the police confiscated when they raided the house on Wednesday night. Mr. Williams poetry, his mother said, detailed his life growing up without a father and his experiences in jail.

Although his father left when Mr. Williams was young, he did inherit one thing from him; his religion. Though Ms. McWilliams is a Catholic, she said Mr. Williams is Muslim, a religion he learned from his father.

“He respected my religion and I respected his,” she said.

Mr. Williams’s girlfriend, Cassandra McKoy, 21, said that he became more deeply committed to his faith while in jail.

“He was raised Muslim, that’s just the way he is,” she said. “He became more that way in jail.”

Ms. McWilliams said that Mr. Williams would hang out with James Cromedy around the neighborhood. The two lived only a few hundred yards apart and were very friendly with each other. She had no knowledge of them interacting in jail, she said.

“They met around two years ago,” she said. “He didn’t know James that long.”

Aahkiyaah Cummings, Mr. Williams’s aunt, said the last time she saw him, about a week ago, he seemed distant. Ms. Cummings said she gave Mr. Williams a hug outside his mother’s apartment and felt a change.

“You know your family and one of the things I always looked forward to was a hug from David because there was such realness, such love,” she said. “But after I embraced him I said to my husband, ‘Something is not right. You need to talk to him.’”

She said he never got the chance.

Updated, 12:38 p.m. | Adele Cromitie, 65, the mother of James Cromitie, answered the door at around 11:10 a.m., standing next to Wanda Walker, 45, his sister.

They call Mr. Cromitie “Fildy” - a nickname derived from his youth when he used to dance to a television commercial to keep New York City clean. On the commercial, the mother said, there was a little man who used to put the garbage in the can and it would say ‘fill dee basket.’ Over the years, it became Fildy.

Mrs. Cromitie said she first heard of his arrest on the television news. She said she was sleeping and when she rolled over and opened her eyes, she was looking at her son’s face on the TV. She said she wasn’t sure if it was him because the TV news pronounced his name wrong.

“I said, ‘That looked like my son,’” she said. She wore a blue denim jacket with matching pants and a pink shirt underneath. Her apartment, where she said she’s lived for 26 years, was disheveled - books piled on the table, movies piled on another, papers strewn about.

She said she last saw James three years ago when he showed up at her apartment door after one of his many stints in jail. She said he brought her up to his house in Newburgh where he was living with a woman, though she didn’t remember her name or know their relationship. She stayed with him for three
days. It was then that he told her he was a Muslim.

“When he told me that, I said, ‘get outta here’,” she said. James had been raised as an Episcopalian and the family attended St. Augustus’s Church, albeit infrequently.

Before that, it had been nearly 15 years since she had seen him.

“He has been out of our lives for years,” said Walker. The mother interrupted her and said, “I would always wonder why he didn’t call me on my birthday or Mother’s Day.”

They both said he had been in and out of jail since he was 14 or 15 years old. They said they never visited him jail and both said they don’t want to see him now.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said the mother. “I went and got the paper and I was looking at my his face.”

She said he was born in Brooklyn and raised on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Adele Cromitie has 10 children, and said James was a middle child.

Wanda Walker, his sister, said, “He was the dumbest person in the world. If he had gone through with this, anybody from his family could’ve been walking by.”

At that point, as they stood in their living room, the mother broke down in tears and asked, “Why would he do something like that?”

Ms. Walker remembered her brother as a jokester, always singing and dancing, impersonating R and B singers. She said he used to sing gospel songs and oldies. He would mimic Smoky Robinson or Luther Vandross.

“You could be down, on your downest day and downest luck, and he’d make you laugh,” said Ms. Walker. “I’m still waiting for the punch line of all of this.”

Ms. Walker said that in the past, her brother had worked for Wal-Mart and Pepsi, but she added, “Well, that’s what he said. He can lie.”

Updated, 12:38 p.m. | A federal magistrate judge, Lisa M. Smith, ordered three of the defendants — James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams — to be held at a Westchester County jail at least until a June 5 court date. Lawyers for the three men declined to file bail applications, but said they reserved the right to do so in the future.

The three men entered the courtroom shortly before noon, handcuffed and shackled around the waist in thick metal chains.

Eric Snyder, an assistant United States attorney, said at the presentation of the charges, “It’s hard to envision a more chilling plot.” He added, “These are extremely violent men. These are men who eagerly embraced an opportunity” to “bring deaths to Jews.”

The suspects looked nervous, all wearing the same clothes they wore the evening before when they entered custody in Manhattan. The men were transferred to White Plains on Thursday morning. Mr. Cromitie shook his head and grimaced, appearing to stare into space at one point when Judge Smith explained the penalties for perjury. “I didn’t hear you, your honor,” he told her at one point.

David Williams, wearing sagging shorts without a belt, pursed his lips and appeared to be gripping the waistband of his shorts with his right hand, which was manacled in front of him, to hold them up. Onta Williams clasped his palms together, grinding them in front of his body. When asked various questions by Judge Smith about whether they understood the charges against them, they replied in monotones.

Asked whether they had done anything to impair their judgment recently, Mr. Cromitie acknowledged having smoked marijuana on Wednesday, but maintained that he was clear-headed in the courtroom. Mr. Cromitie’s court-appointed lawyer, Vincent L. Briccetti, said his client’s arms had been injured by glass the previous days when law enforcement officials broke the windows of the sport-utility vehicle the suspects were riding in, in the Bronx.

Mr. Snyder appeared to single out David Williams, saying he was someone who “stands out as more violent” and who was “bragging, boasting that he would shoot anyone who tried to stop him.” Mr. Williams bought a pistol in a Brooklyn housing project for $700 from a man who Mr. Williams described to an F.B.I. informer as a “supreme Blood gang leader.” (Mr. Williams told the informer that if the informer had not been with him when he bought the gun, Mr. Williams would have killed the gun seller and held onto the $700, Mr. Snyder said.)

One of the four defendants, Laguerre Payen, was not present at the presentation of charges. A representative of the United States attorney’s office said Mr. Payen would likely appear later on Thursday afternoon.

Updated, 11:06 a.m. | A group of Jewish and Muslim leaders have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, one of the city’s largest mosques, to condemn violence.

Imam Muhammad Shamsi Ali, the spiritual leader of the mosque, on East 96th Street near Third Avenue, and Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and founding rabbi of The New York Synagogue, are to attend. “We call upon Muslim leaders to stand firm against the forces of evil,” Imam Ali said.

Rabbi Schneier said in a statement: “It is reassuring to hear the voices of Muslim leaders speaking out in solidarity with the Jewish community and unequivocally condemning acts of terrorism and violence.”

Updated, 11:02 a.m. | Wanda Cromitie, whose brother, James, has been described by the authorities as the ringleader of the terror plot, said in a phone interview, “I was very surprised. I heard about it on T.V. this morning. This is really shocking. This is crazy. I’m really devastated.”

Asked whether her brother had ever expressed any political views like the ones ascribed to him by the authorities, Ms. Cromitie replied: “Never. Right now to me he’s like the dumbest person I ever came in contact with in my life.”

Ms. Cromitie said she was not close with her brother and last talked to him about two years ago. She believed he had a job at a K-Mart or Wal-Mart.

Ms. Cromitie said she did not believe her brother was a Muslim, but noted that many inmates convert to Islam in prison. “They do a little time in jail and they don’t eat pork no more,” she said.

Updated, 10:57 a.m. | The four men who were arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y., were “petty criminals” who acted alone and did not appear to be acting in concert with any terrorist organization, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Thursday morning.

Raymond W. KellyChip East/Reuters Raymond W. Kelly, the New York City police commissioner, spoke about the case on Thursday morning in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center.

In a news conference at the Riverdale Jewish Center, one of the two synagogues that were said to be the targets of the plot, Mr. Kelly offered new details about the four defendants — James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen. The men are to appear in Federal District Court in White Plains, N.Y., later Thursday morning.

Mr. Cromitie, 53, had lived in Brooklyn and had a record of “as many as 27 arrests” for minor crimes “both upstate and in New York City,” Mr. Kelly said. He, David Williams and Onta Williams are native-born United States citizens, while Mr. Payen is a native of Haiti. “We believe they knew each other from prison contacts, for the most part,” Mr. Kelly said.

Mr. Cromitie was the oldest member of the group and its leader, while the others were “significantly younger,” in their late 20s or early 30s, Mr. Kelly said.

“They stated that they wanted to commit jihad,” he said. “More information about their motives I’m sure will be developed as the case progresses, but right now, they stated they wanted to make jihad. They were disturbed about what was happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that Muslims were being killed. They were making statements that Jews were killed in this attack and that would be all right — that sort of thing.”

The men, all of whom live in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, were arrested around 9 p.m. Wednesday after planting what they believed to be bombs in cars outside the Riverdale Temple, a Reform synagogue, and the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue.

The arrests came after what officials described as a “painstaking investigation” that began in June 2008 involving an F.B.I. agent who had been told by a federal informant of the men’s desire to attack targets in America.

At no point, the authorities emphasized, did the men actually acquire weapons of mass destruction, though they stand accused of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use antiaircraft missiles.

Mr. Kelly offered fresh details on Thursday morning of the moments leading up to the arrests on Wednesday night.

The arrests, he said, occurred after one of the suspects placed what he believed were homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices, in separate vehicles parked outside the synagogues. The other three suspects served as lookouts, Mr. Kelly said.

“There was a driver who was a cooperator, and there was the individual who placed the bombs in the vehicle, and then there were three lookouts,” Mr. Kelly said. “When everyone returned to their car — as everyone was going back to the car — that is when the signal was given to the emergency service officers to move in.”

An 18-wheel New York Police Department vehicle — known as a “low-boy” — blocked the suspects’ black sport utility vehicle at 237th Street and Riverdale Avenue. The F.B.I. informer also served as the driver of the suspects’ S.U.V., Mr. Kelly said.

Another armored vehicle arrived, and officers from the department’s Emergency Service Unit smashed the blackened windows of the S.U.V., removed the men from the vehicle, and handcuffed them on the ground. None offered resistance.

Other police officers, along with members of the Joint Terrorist Task Force, the F.B.I., and the State Police, were also on hand, and “moved in and took those individuals away,” Mr. Kelly said.

Each of the two homemade bombs was equipped with “about 37 pounds” of inert C-4 plastic explosives, but the devices had been “totally disabled by the F.B.I.” and “there was no danger to anyone,” Mr. Kelly said.

He said of the case: “It speaks to our concern about homegrown terrorism.”

Mr. Kelly joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and elected officials for a news conference on Thursday morning outside the Riverdale Jewish Center to greet morning worshipers.

The mayor praised the Police Department, which worked on the F.B.I. and other agencies on the case, and described the disruption of the terror plot as a frightening but exceptional occurrence. “Most people in New York City want to live together, work together, and I think we’re as safe today as we’ve ever been before,” the mayor said.

State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat who represents Riverdale, noted that he is a member of the congregation at the Riverdale Temple. “I think most people will agree that we’re very angry, but very sad that this kind of plot would take place in our community,” he said. “There are people out there motivated by religious hatred, hatred against Jews, frankly, but the good news is that the N.Y.P.D. and F.B.I. were on top of this from the very beginning.”

City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who also represents the neighborhood, said: “It’s a very frightening, disturbing situation. Fortunately, good, enormously good police work averted a terrible tragedy.”

He added: “Unfortunately, people with twisted minds often copy things. I think our community needs special protection now — I’m sure we’ll get it.”

The overwhelming sentiment among members of the Jewish population in Riverdale interviewed on Thursday morning was astonishment.

“I was shocked,” Eric Suss, 18, said outside the Riverdale Jewish Center. “As a Jew, I felt targeted.”

Harry Feder, 59, former president of the Orthodox synagogue, said: “I think it’s just a shock. Of all the places in the metropolitan area, of all the communities, this is surprising. This has put fear into whatever community you’re in.”

Another synagogue member, Elliot Falk, 56, said: “I felt a heightened sense of danger. There’s always been anti-Semitism in this world, it’s a shame to see it taken to an extreme here.”

David Winter, executive director of the synagogue, said he was “both shocked and relieved.” He said, “Instead of a terrible story, it’s a story of success.” The Riverdale Jewish Center has close ties to Israel.

More than 700 families are members of the synagogue, and people normally pray there from 5:30 in the morning until 10 in the evening, Mr. Winter said.

The Riverdale Jewish Community Council, whose leaders were briefed on the terror plot by police officials on Wednesday evening, noted that Jewish synagogues in the neighborhood had been the subject of threats. Ari Hoffnung, the council’s chairman, said in a statement:

Unfortunately, this is not the first attempt to terrorize a house of worship in Riverdale. This incident demonstrates the need for the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant agencies to expand the funding of security grants for religious institutions and houses of worship. High-density, high-vulnerability areas like New York ought to receive all resources necessary to protect themselves.

Also on Thursday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties organization for Muslim Americans, urged the public not to link the case with mainstream Islam.

“We applaud the F.B.I., the New York Police Department and the other law enforcement agencies that took part in the investigation for their efforts in helping to prevent any harm to either Jewish institutions or to our nation’s military,” the organization’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said. “We repeat the American Muslim community’s repudiation of bias-motivated crimes and of anyone who would falsely claim religious justification for violent actions. Members of the American Muslim community should remain vigilant in reporting any activities that could harm the safety and security of our nation or its citizens.”

Colin Moynihan, Kenny Porpora, Sam Roberts and Karen Zraick contributed reporting.


From 1 to 25 of 54 Comments

  1. 1. May 21, 2009 7:25 am Link

    So they did this just because they were bored? Sorry, I don’t buy it. Gitmo is still open and has some vacancies, I believe.

    — Leo
  2. 2. May 21, 2009 7:50 am Link

    Ah the Jew as a target of death again.

    Is that really news? Same kind of report we see happening for the last 2,000 years.

    — Joseph
  3. 3. May 21, 2009 7:58 am Link

    Excellent story! I appreciate the coverage!
    Regards,
    Paul E.Tooley Sr

    — Paul E.Tooley Sr
  4. 4. May 21, 2009 8:02 am Link

    This is the type of “citizen” we can do without. To my mind these men committed treason and should pay with their lives if convicted. Prison did nothing for Mr. Cromitie in the way of rehabilitation so why continue to house and feed this animal? Waste him posthaste upon conviction!

    — roncee
  5. 5. May 21, 2009 8:18 am Link

    I’d still like to know about the so-called weapons of mass destruction. If it were only stringer missles and C-4 plastic esplosives, Bush was right - Saddam Hussein had WMD. If it were only stingere missles and C-4 then there is a lot of hype and Iguess Maureen dowd is right, cheney is still running the country.

    Having said that, good work law enforcement.

    — DonO
  6. 6. May 21, 2009 8:43 am Link

    There will be many opinions regarding these people, their religious affiliations and terrorism in general. Obviously I am Muslim and believe in Jihad. However the best Jihad in the Jihad of ones self. And the taking of innocent lives is “strictly” forbidden in Islam. I challenge any one to find the evidence to disprove this. I also feel anger and sadness at the slaughter of Muslims throughout the world, But as Muslims we are taught not to act out of anger. I cannot speak for the entirety of Islam, but these terrorist do not speak for the faith that I live by and raise my family by. Yes, we must combat those that seek to destroy our faith, but not by methods that destroy life in this way. They will(I hope) receive due process, and if found guilty, will pay for their crimes. I have my own opinions regarding other religions and faiths, however I am not motivated to wipe them off the face of the earth. They exists just as we Muslims exists, by the decree of the supreme creator.

    — jamilmuslim
  7. 7. May 21, 2009 8:53 am Link

    Religion of peace…wants to leave you in pieces.

    — Doc Manhattan
  8. 8. May 21, 2009 9:34 am Link

    jamilmuslim- IF found guilty???? is that a joke?

    — Yanks09
  9. 9. May 21, 2009 9:37 am Link

    where is the outrage in the american muslim community that terrorists continue to use islam and “jihad” as their motivating tool to terrorize americans?

    — Yanks09
  10. 10. May 21, 2009 9:42 am Link

    I find it truly amazing how these muslims cry that there fellow brothers are getting killed in their “homeland”. Yet live nice and comfortable in america, use our services, live in freedom to worship and roam freely. Why dont they go “home” and fight over there if they are so concerned. Instead they take it out on americans over here who have nothing to do with what is happening over seas. When will the Islam religion stand up and say enough of this crap!

    — Yanks09
  11. 11. May 21, 2009 9:44 am Link

    Sounds like four idiots to me. Nevertheless they should have been arrested and they deserve jail time. I do find a few things very interesting about this story, one is how long law enforcement worked on this mess and two, I will quote from the NYTimes story “This was very controlled every step of the way”. Sounds like the FBI and Ny police sort of helped them get where they wanted to be. No to mention these people are described as petty criminals. I think idiots would be a better description. Well they earned being locked up but I don’t think they earned being labeled as terrorist.

    — Darrell Hampton
  12. 12. May 21, 2009 9:57 am Link

    What have we got here? A group of petty criminal misfits - another gang who can’t shoot straight.. A lot of sophisticated but disabled weapons (definitely not of ‘mass destruction’) of strange provenance. Terrorists? Hardly. Entrapment? Heavens, no! Why would anyone even think that?

    — James F Traynor
  13. 13. May 21, 2009 9:59 am Link

    Yanks09,

    “When will the Islam religion stand up and say enough of this crap!”

    Islam does not need to stand up for anyone.
    These criminals do not represent Islam and their beliefs are not a reflection of Islam. Moreover, they are Americans living upstate New York. Therefore, we can’t even send them to Gitmo let alone another country.

    — Donnie
  14. 14. May 21, 2009 10:02 am Link

    yeh james lets blame the cops for doing their job of protecting their citizens. shame on you for thinking otherwise.

    — Yanks09
  15. 15. May 21, 2009 10:28 am Link

    Did the police and F.B.I. help them. Are they co-conspirators?

    — WIEEI
  16. 16. May 21, 2009 10:35 am Link

    It’s sad that so many people leap to consider this a reflection of Islam. When Timmy McVeigh visited Christian Identity Churches as he was preparing the Oklahoma City bombing, that wasn’t a reflection on Christianity. When IRA terrorists blew up Protestants, and Unionists blew up Catholics, that wasn’t a reflection of either Catholicism or Prostestantism. The Irgun didn’t reflect Judaism any more than Hamas reflects Islam. Something tells me these guys didn’t have much of an understanding of the Koran anyway.

    — Donald
  17. 17. May 21, 2009 10:39 am Link

    To jamilmuslim - You want evidence to prove islam advocates murder ?? Obviously you haven’t read your “holy” book, the koran. Verse after verse after verse urging followers to kill non-believers. Here are a few examples:
    (60:4) says followers of Allah will hate the disbelievers forever until they believe in Allah only.

    (8:12) “Remember Thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the believers, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them.”

    (5:33-34) “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet and alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is forgiving, merciful.”

    (22:19-22) “These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning.”

    (76:4) “Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers chains, yokes and a blazing fire.”

    So forget trying to convince us that this is a religion of peace. How naive do you think we are ?

    — kelebek
  18. 18. May 21, 2009 10:39 am Link

    All this proves that we don’t need a Billionaire running New York City; we need a Police Commissioner.

    — Perley J. Thibodeau
  19. 19. May 21, 2009 11:14 am Link

    Donald,

    “Timmy McVeigh” wasn’t motivated by a desire to be martyred in the name of Christianity.

    — Miguel
  20. 20. May 21, 2009 11:16 am Link

    “It was fully controlled at all times,” a law enforcement official said.

    It would seem that the FBI has taken a page from the Al-Qaeda playbook: seek out the oppressed doctrinaire apostles and stoke their anger, then supply them with the means to act upon that anger. Gain power from their actions.

    Al Qaeda has the intention to create terror by carrying out these crimes. The FBI has the intention to perpetuate terror by thwarting these crimes. Both have their best interests in mind.

    Forcing hands may be the most effective method the FBI has in fighting terrorism. But it might be also the most effective means it has in inspiring terrorism. Many enemies of America will see this as an injustice, and they may not be entirely wrong about that.

    — Kevin
  21. 21. May 21, 2009 11:17 am Link

    “Republican up for re-election; terror plot (consisting of wannabes strung along by the FBI) foiled.”

    Sound familiar?

    — bobbyd
  22. 22. May 21, 2009 11:19 am Link

    Trying to blow up or vandalize a synagogue in response to what Israel does is not something new, and this is being done around the world in the last number of years. If this is not an act of anti-Semitism, then what is it? Then again, how many Jews tried to blow up or vandalize a mosque in response to the actions of Hamas, Hezbollah, or even Al Qadea? The answer is pretty much none, and I doubt that any Jews would have also done that to churches in response to the actions of the Irish Republican Army other Christian fanatics such as the Catholic church. If any Jews did do that, they are a minority and are condemned on all levels. It’s interesting how the media doesn’t seem to scream anti-Semitism when this happens or is being planned to synagogues, but if it’s a church, they will cry heiracy. As for some of the mosques that closed down in this country for the past number of years, it wasn’t out of Islamaphobia, it was because they were found giving money to Islamic terrorist groups that I have mentioned, which is against international laws.

    — Tal Barzilai
  23. 23. May 21, 2009 11:33 am Link

    “The Riverdale Jewish Center has close ties to Israel. ” — quote from article.
    What is this supposed to mean? Taken in the context of the article, I think we are all supposed to have an “aha” moment: “Oh, I get it, they targeted the RJC because of its ties to Israel…”
    EVERY Jew has ties to Israel: its the main focal point of our daily prayers and of the Torah.
    Taking the subtext of this to its conclusion, EVERY Jew is a potential target. AND THAT’S THE POINT.
    All this nonsense about hating ZIonists and loving Jews, of the “religion of peace” — let’s stop the double talk. Last I checked, Riverdale wasn’t “Occupied Territory”.
    They say they don’t want Jews in Israel, then they attack Jews outside of Israel. Give it to us straight: You don’t want Jews to exist.
    That’s okay, we were here before you, and we’re going to be here long after you disappear, like all the other dead enemies we have…

    — Leah
  24. 24. May 21, 2009 11:40 am Link

    Remember when Bloomy claimed there was an attack imminent on the subway system, a claim even Homeland Security was skeptical of, just before his last election?

    Old habits die hard.

    http://newsmine.org/content.php?ol=propoganda/terror-threats/2005/sybway-terror-plot-uncorroborated.txt

    — bobbyd
  25. 25. May 21, 2009 11:43 am Link

    Based on Wanda Cromitie’s comments, it seems that, as they have done elsewhere (Buffalo, Miami, etc..), the FBI “created” terrorists and then arrested them. I just hope, as they pat themselves on the backs for successfully orchestrating this turkey shoot, that they aren’t missing a real plot somewhere.

    — Paul

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Government and Politics

Covering the five boroughs, City Hall and legislation in Albany.

Crime & Public Safety
Crime and Public Safety

Following the police beat, City Room reports on arrests, police raids, fires and public emergencies.

Transportation
Transportation

From taxis to subways and commuter railroads, complete coverage of the transit system.

Schools
Schools

Coltrane in the classroom, teachers' strikes, Q&As about public school policy and more.

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Recent Posts

May 25
(13 comments)

A Pause in the Resurgence of St. George, Staten Island

New York on Less: The overhaul of St. George, on Staten Island, has come to a halt.

May 25
(6 comments)

Ask About the History of 42nd Street

Taking Questions: The authors of "The Story of 42nd Street: The Theaters, Shows, Characters, and Scandals of the World's Most Notorious Street," will be responding to readers.

May 22
(0 comments)

The Week in Pictures for May 22

Slide Show: Subjects include demonstrations for and against same-sex marriage; the reopening of the Washington Square Park fountain; and Army parachutists jumping over the Statue of Liberty.

May 22
(17 comments)

Could Credit Cards Replace MetroCards?

A smart MetroCard could be more convenient for riders, but at the same time it raises security concerns that data could be stolen and cloned.

May 22
(5 comments)

No More Kindergarten Waiting List at 2 Village Schools

The Education Department has reached a lease agreement with Greenwich House, which will provide classroom space at 27 Barrow Street for pre-kindergarten students in Greenwich Village, next year.

Urbaneye
urbaneye
The Best of New York Today

Read Melena Ryzik's UrbanEye report each weekday to find out about New York's newest restaurants, cultural events, weekend activities, latest styles and more.

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