4 suspects in alleged terror plot appear in court

WHITE PLAINS - Four men from Orange County, N.Y. were arrested Wednesday night and accused of masterminding a plot to bomb two Jewish sites in the Bronx and shoot down military planes with guided missiles.

According to prosecutors, James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and LeGuerre Payen, all American citizens, were taken into custody at around 9 p.m. after planting what they thought were bombs in cars parked outside Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center.

Authorities say the four suspects also planned to use guided missiles to shoot down military planes at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh.

Authorities say as the men tried to obtain weapons for the attack, they came in contact with an FBI informant, who provided the group with an inactive missile and 30 pounds of fake explosives.

The four suspects, who have extensive criminal records, were charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles. During a court appearance in White Plains, Judge Lisa Margaret Smith reminded the four suspects of their rights and appointed them attorneys.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Snyder says the men were disappointed that the World Trade Center wasn't still around to attack.

Snyder said the defendants were "eager to bring death to Jews." And he quoted one as saying: "I would like to get a synagogue."

The four suspects are being held at the Westchester County Jail. They are scheduled to appear in court June 5. If convicted, the four men will face a maximum of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 20 years behind bars.

Defense lawyers did not seek bail.

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