The four New York men accused in a foiled terrorist plot against Bronx Jewish centers and an upstate airbase have been indicted on conspiracy and other charges that could land them behind bars for life, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Suspects James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen -- all of Newburgh -- are expected to be arraigned on the eight-count indictment in White Plains federal court Wednesday.
Authorities said they busted the alleged homegrown terrorists May 20 in dramatic fashion, catching them trying to plant what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues. Officials said the four were also planning that night to shoot a military plane from the Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport using a Stinger missile.
But officials said thanks to a year-long surveillance by the NYPD and FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force, as well as help from a confidential informant, the plotters never got their hands on real weapons. They were handling inert FBI plants and never posed a danger to their targets or the general public, officials stressed.
The four are charged with conspiracy to use and attempt to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States, conspiracy to acquire and use and attempt to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles and conspiracy to kill and attempt to kill officers and employees of the United States.