Four Convicted in New York's Synagogue-bombing Plot

Washington, Oct 19 (IANS) Four men have been convicted for planting bombs outside synagogues and plotting missile attacks on military planes in New York, a media report said.

A jury of six women and five men in Federal District Court in Manhattan deliberated for eight days. They were convicted Monday, New York Times reported on its website.

The four defendants - Onta Williams, Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie and David Williams IV - face up to life in prison.

Williams and Payen were found not guilty of one charge -- attempting to kill officers and employees of the US.

Prosecutors said the men, who all lived in Newburgh, New York, willingly cooperated with an informer working for the FBI who posed as a terrorist and supplied the men with inert bombs and Stinger missile tubes.

On May 20, 2009, the men were arrested in the Riverdale section of the Bronx after they planted the bombs in cars outside two synagogues.

The authorities said that they also planned to travel to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, north of New York City, to fire missiles at military transport planes.

"Homegrown terrorism is a serious threat, and today's convictions affirm our commitment to do everything we can to protect against it," said Preet Bharara, the US attorney in Manhattan.

During the trial, prosecutors relied on recordings of conversations between the informer, Shahed Hussain, and the defendants.

Most of the recordings featured Cromitie, the first of the defendants to meet the informer, and by far the most talkative.

In conversations filled with bravado, Cromitie made anti-Semitic statements and talked about committing violent acts.

But he also voiced doubts about his intentions. Defence lawyers said those doubts proved that Cromitie and the other men were reluctant participants, and they argued entrapment.

The lawyers concentrated on painting Hussain as a liar and a manipulator who coaxed impoverished men toward a kind of violence to which they were not predisposed, a requirement of the entrapment defence. The strategy has never been successful in terrorism cases since 9/11, experts say.

"This case should have never happened," said Alicia McWilliams-McCollum, who is Williams' aunt, said after the verdict was announced.

"You come in to a small isolated urban community to do your wickedness. We have been used and nobody cares."

The jury deliberations stalled at one point, when jurors revealed they had seen evidence that was not introduced at trial, including a transcript that the judge had called inadmissible.

But the judge, Colleen McMahon, refused a request by the defence lawyers for a mistrial. She dismissed a juror who had seen the inadmissible transcript, and asked the other jurors to resume their deliberations.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Four Convicted in New York's Synagogue-bombing Plot

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.