Updated 05/21/2009 08:04 AM
Four Arrested In Plot To Bomb Bronx Temple
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Four men have been arrested after an alleged plot to detonate a bomb outside a Jewish temple in the Bronx was foiled by law enforcement agents Wednesday night.
Officials say the arrests follow a year-long undercover investigation by the joint terrorism task force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, NYPD and state police.
The U.S. attorney's office says James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen have all been charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles.
Authorities say the suspects had planned to detonate a car with plastic explosives outside the Riverdale Jewish Center at West 237th Street and Independence Avenue.
They're also accused of plotting to shoot down military planes at the Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh with surface-to-air guided missiles.
Investigators say an undercover informant provided the suspects with an inactive missile and inert explosives.
"The bombs had been made by the FBI technicians. They were totally inert. No one was at risk or in danger of being injured this evening," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
"Hatred of the west. The leader of the group concerned about deaths at the hands of the U.S. military in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also an anti sentiment towards the Jewish people," said FBI representative Joseph Demarest.
Governor David Paterson says three of the men are U.S. citizens, and the fourth is Haitian.
All four men are expected to appear in federal court Thursday in White Plains.