Judge to Rule This Week on Bail for Synagogue Bomb Plot Suspects

The men have pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges

Monday, Jun 21, 2010  |  Updated 2:55 PM EDT
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Judge to Rule This Week on Bail for Synagogue Bomb Plot Suspects

AP

James Cromitie, right, is led by police officers from a federal building in New York on May 21, 2009, after being arrested on charges related to a bombing plot in the Bronx.

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A New York judge is considering bail for four men accused of plotting to down military planes and blow up synagogues with what they thought were an active missile and bombs.

Judge Colleen McMahon heard bail arguments on Monday in White Plains, N.Y.  She said she would make a ruling later in the week. Earlier, she had warned the defendants that there would be "no guarantees."

The men have pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. They claim they were entrapped by a federal informant who proposed and directed the plot and then supplied the fake bombs and inactive missile.

These four clients did not plan anything," said Susanne Brody, a lawyer for one of  the defendants.  "The government planned every step of the way."

Federal prosecutors say the defendants are dangerous and a flight risk.

McMahon previously delayed the trial indefinitely. Prosecutors must turn over classified information to defense attorneys and say it could take months.

The alleged plot centered on two Bronx synagogues, and planes at the Stewart Air National Guard base near Newburgh, N.Y.

The defendants -- James Cromitie, 44; Onta Williams, 32; David Williams , 28; and Laguerre Payen , 27 -- are accused of placing what they believed were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues in May of 2009. The Newburgh men are also accused of planning to use what they thought was a live Stinger missile against planes at an Air National Guard base.

Earlier this year they filed a dismissal motion which called the plot “a government-inspired creation from Day 1.” Though the motion was denied, attorneys for the accused men said the informant chose the targets, offered payment, provided maps and bought the only real weapon involved, a handgun.

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