Four New York men were arrested Wednesday in connection with an alleged plot to blow up area Jewish centers and military targets. The plot, however, was foiled by undercover agents.
Raids by the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force in the Bronx captured the suspected ringleader and three followers in what law enforcement sources are calling a homegrown terrorist plot.
“The NYPD did exactly what they’re trained to do and have prevented what could have been a terrible event in our city,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning.
Agents and police watched Wednesday night as the suspects allegedly planted what they thought were bombs outside two Jewish community centers in Riverdale, a Bronx, New York neighborhood. In one case the suspected terrorists planted a bomb inside a parked car. However, officials said the suspects were actually using fake explosives given to them in an earlier sting operation to make sure they didn’t get their hands on real bombs.
“The bombs had been made by the FBI technicians, they were totally inert, no one was ever at risk,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The four suspects were identified as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, of Newburgh in upstate New York, where authorities were conducting raids at their homes, sources said.
Authorities said they had the plotters under surveillance since June of 2008 and there was “no chance” the alleged scheme could succeed. They credited the work of a long time informant with keeping tabs on the group.
The FBI said the Muslim suspects were angry and full of hate for America.
“Hatred of the West. The leader of the group, James Cromitie was concerned about deaths at the hands of the U.S. military in Afghanistan,” and also expressed anti-Jewish sentiment, Joseph Demarest the head of the New York FBI said.
How long before we hear the whine from The Usual Suspects that this wasn’t a “real” plot, you know, like they did with the recently convicted Miami 5? And as they did over the Fort Dix terror plot that was thwarted? Oh, we won’t – because even though it was a sting that began under Bush’s watch, it’s one that was stopped under Obama’s.
This terror bust is obviously good news, but the war on terror – as always – continues to rage on:
WASHINGTON — An unreleased Pentagon report concludes that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are engaged in terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.
The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against the transfer or release of any more detainees as part of President Obama’s plan to shut down the prison by January. Past Pentagon reports on Guantánamo recidivism have been met with skepticism from civil liberties groups and criticized for their lack of detail.
The Pentagon promised in January that the latest report would be released soon, but Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said this week that the findings were still “under review.”
Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House, at a time when even Congressional Democrats have begun to show misgivings over Mr. Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo.
Being held up for political considerations. Who’da thought?
Related reading: Michelle Malkin puts a fine point on the differences between Obama’s big speech he’s supposed to make today versus Cheney’s.