Problem is they were caught in the act.
The FBI busted a homegrown terror cell late Wednesday night as the men sneaked around a Jewish temple in Riverdale planting what they thought were packages of C-4 explosives, sources told the Daily News.More here.
The four men also allegedly had what they believed was a working Stinger missile in their car: officials said they wanted to shoot down a plane near Stewart Air National Guard Base.
Sources said the four men were arrested after a year long investigation that began when an informant connected to a mosque in Newburg said some militants wanted to buy eplosives.
FBI agents posing as militants sold them what they thought were C-4 and a plane-downing Stinger missile.
The weaponry was all phony.
The men were arrested as they planted fake bombs in front of the Riverdale Temple in the Bronx and under cars parked in front of the synagogue.
They also allegedly planned to blow up a nearby Jewish Community Center.
Witnesses said an NYPD vehicle blocked a black SUV outside the temple and then officers broke in the windows and handcuffed the four men inside the car.
All four men were US-born.
Arrested was alleged ringleader James Cromitie of Newburgh, the son of an Afghan immigrant and his wife.
Cromitie served a long stretch in prison in the past.
Alleged henchment David Williams, Onta Williams and Leguerre Payen were busted with him.
Sources said the three were jailhouse converts to Islam.
Four men are in federal custody following their arrests on charges that they conspired to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States, specifically to blow up a synagogue in the Bronx and military planes at the Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport.I guess they weren't down with Hopenchange.
The plot was hatched in a house in Newburgh, authorities said Wednesday night. The men are all current residents of Newburgh.
Authorities arrested James Cromitie, also known as Abdul Rahman; Onta Williams, also known as Hamza; David Williams, also known as Daoud; and Laguerre Payen, also known as Amin on charges arising from a plot to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and to shoot military planes at the Air Guard Base at Stewart Airport with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles.
In June 2008, an informant working with the FBI met with Cromitie in Newburgh. He told the informant that has parents had lived in Afghanistan and that he was upset about the war there and that many Muslim people were being killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the military forces.
Cromitie expressed interest in returning to Afghanistan and spoke to the informant about how, if he were to die a martyr, he would go to “paradise.”
Beginning in October 2008, the informant began meeting with Cromitie at a house in Newburgh that the FBI had equipped with concealed video and audio equipment. During those meetings is when the four suspects discussed their desire to attack certain targets in New York.