NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A federal jury in New York Monday convicted four men of plotting to bomb a synagogue and Jewish community center and shoot down U.S. military aircraft.
James Cromitie, 44, aka Abdul Rahman, aka Abdul Rehman; David Williams, 29, aka Daoud, aka DL; Onta Williams, 34, aka Hamza; and Laguerre Payen, 29, aka Amin, aka Almondo, were found guilty of seven counts relating to their plot to detonate explosives near a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. They also planned to shoot military planes at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., with surface-to-air guided missiles.
Cromitie and Williams also were convicted on an eighth count for scheming to killing federal officers and employees.
The four had been arrested May 20, 2009, after planting what they thought were live explosives at various target locations and were indicted June 2, 2009. Federal authorities, working with an informant, provided the four with fake explosives and Stinger missiles.
"Homegrown terrorism is a serious threat, and today's convictions affirm our commitment to do everything we can to protect against it," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement following the verdict in U.S. District Court. "The defendants in this case agreed to plant bombs and use missiles they thought were very real weapons of terrorism. We are safer today as a result of these convictions. We thank the members of the jury for their time and diligent service. We also commend the extraordinary work of the prosecutors, agents, and detectives who demonstrated unyielding dedication during the investigation and prosecution of this case."
No date was set for sentencing.