22 May 2009

New York plotters due in court

5:52 am on 22 May 2009

Four men accused of plotting to bomb New York synagogues and fire Stinger missiles at aircraft are due in court on weapons and conspiracy charges.

They were arrested on Wednesday after planting what they thought were bombs at two Bronx synagogues.

Prosecutor Eric Snyder said they were "eager to bring death to Jews."

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said all four "wanted to commit jihad".

The men had agreed to buy explosives from FBI agents posing as Islamic militants.

They are charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the US and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles.

The BBC reports charges carry prison terms of between 25 years and life imprisonment.

The four, all Muslims, are to appear in a federal court in White Plains, New York later on Thursday.

A senior FBI official in New York said three were US citizens and one was from Haiti.

Police & FBI praised

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the work of New York police and the FBI.

He said the plot served as a reminder to New Yorkers to remain vigilant "at all times."

According to prosecutors, the men planned to detonate cars packed with C-4 plastic explosives outside the Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx district of the city.

They also intended to target military planes at the New York Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport, 85km north of New York City.