WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 4 (UPI) -- The father of an ex-convict accused of trying to blow up two New York synagogues and attack military aircraft accused Jews of overstating the alleged plot.
"The government is blowing this up, especially those Jews," said David Williams Sr., father of David Williams, one of four suspects charged in an eight-count federal indictment for allegedly planning to use weapons of mass destruction.
The younger Williams and co-defendants Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie and Onta Williams pleaded not guilty to the indictment.
If found guilty, they could face life in prison.
"Those Jews in the media are turning this into something it is not," the elder Williams was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying.
The News also said Payen sought to portray himself in a hearing as mentally unfit to stand trial. But federal prosecutor Eric Snyder told Magistrate Judge Paul Davison in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., that Payen was putting on an act "to mislead the court."
The suspects were arrested May 20 after they planted what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues, authorities said.
They also planned to shoot down giant military transport planes at an Air National Guard base at Stewart International Airport 50 miles north of New York City with a Stinger surface-to-air missile, the authorities said.
The men didn't know the bombs, obtained with the help of an FBI informant, were fake and the missile was incapable of being fired.