By: Fern Sidman
In an elaborate sting operation, four African American Muslim men were arrested Wednesday night in New York City for attempting to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and for conspiring to shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, NY. James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen were friends who had met while serving time in prison and it was there that they converted to Islam.
The bombs in their possession were fake; supplied to them by an FBI informant who had been cooperating with authorities since 2002, when he pleaded guilty to taking part in an unrelated fraud scheme. The four men attended the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque in Newburgh, New York, where they first met the informant. In April, Mr. Cromitie, 53 and the other men in their 20s and 30s selected the Riverdale Temple, the Riverdale Jewish Center and the National Guard base as their targets. On May 6, they obtained the bogus surface to air missiles and explosive devices that they were to use in the attack from a Connecticut warehouse.
Eric Snyder, an assistant United States attorney, said at their arraignment, “It’s hard to envision a more chilling plot. These are extremely violent men. These are men who eagerly embraced an opportunity to “bring death to Jews”. Addressing the fact that all four men were born in the United States, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “It speaks to our concern about homegrown terrorism.” He added that, “They stated that they wanted to commit jihad. They were disturbed about what was happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that Muslims were being killed”. He also said that the defendants also said that if Jews were killed in this attack that would be all right with them.
When queried as to whether the four men acted in concert or received support from any known terrorist organizations, Mr. Kelly said they acted alone.
In an article written for the Pajamas Media web site that appeared on May 22 entitled, “Homegrown Islamic Jihad in the Bronx: Now We Are All Israelis”, Dr. Phyllis Chesler, an emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at the City University of New York states:
“Onta Williams of the Bronx Four is quoted as saying: “They (the United States military) are killing Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries, so if we kill them here (in the United States) with IEDs (improved explosive devices) and Stingers, it is equal.” James Cromitie, a.k.a. Abdul Rahman, stated that he was part of a Pakistani-based terror group and wanted to kill Jews and Americans. According to the New York Post, “Cromitie pointed to people walking on the street in the vicinity of a Jewish community center and said that if he had a gun, he would shoot each one in the head.”
This raises some serious questions about Commissioner Kelly’s assertion that these men acted independently, sans the backing from radical Islamic terrorist organizations.
This is certainly not the first time that the authorities have hastened to declare that terrorists were tantamount to common criminals. On the evening of November 5, 1990 the far reaching tentacles of global jihad ominously pervaded the United States, yet it would many years to come before anyone made the connection. On that evening, Egyptian born terrorist El Said Nosair, a Brooklyn resident and city employee walked into a conference room at the Marriott Hotel on New York’s east side. He then brandished a .357 magnum revolver and assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and member of the Israeli parliament. Within hours after the murder the New York City police spokesman said that the defendant did not have ties to terror organizations and labeled the shooting as a homicide. Joseph Borelli, then chief of New York City detectives, said the shooting of Rabbi Kahane killing was the work of a lone gunman and the search of his apartment had turned up nothing.
According to an article written by investigative journalist, Seamus McGraw entitled, “The Killing of Rabbi Kahane: Jihad in America”, he states:
“As authorities would later discover, the bullets fired from Nosairs gun were the opening salvo in a war, a war waged by Islamic extremists against America and its interests. Within three years of the Kahane shooting, a group of men closely linked to Nosair, men led by the blind Sheik Omar Ahmad Abdul Rahman, would launch the first attack on the World Trade Center, setting off a deadly bomb in the basement of the towering building. Later, members of the cabal would be accused of planning a reign of terror against New York, plans that included attacks on the citys bridges and tunnels. And a few years after that, a handful of terrorists, under orders from Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network, a network that counted some of Nosair’s allies among its members, would ultimately topple those towers, and attack the Pentagon.
All of it, authorities would later say, was foreshadowed within three days of Nosairs arrest when investigators poring through his Cliffside Park, N.J., apartment would find a diary in his handwriting that would later seem almost prophetic. In it, Nosair called for jihad against the enemies of Islam and urged his comrades to bring America to its knees by destroying the structure of their civilized pillars; their high world buildings which they are proud of; their statues and the buildings in which their leaders gather. But all of that was missed in the days immediately after the Kahane killing.”
Before the authorities can promulgate with complete certitude that these would be assassins are devoid of any substantive terrorist ties, an extensive investigation must be conducted and all evidence must be made public. There is no question that the pernicious and baneful agenda of radical Islam continues to proliferate in the Western world and as such, the theology of global jihad has taken root in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. And for those who cherish the freedoms that our democratic system affords us; to those who are concerned about the future of Western civilization as we know it, let us raise our collective voices in protest against jihadists of all stripes. Let us shuffle our priorities and let out elected officials and our president know that the threat of jihad on our shores is our number one domestic and foreign policy issue. Before it is too late, we must mobilize expeditiously.