Haitian convicted in bombing plot
NEW YORK – A Haitian was among four men convicted of planting bombs outside synagogues and plotting to fire missiles at military planes.
A jury of six women and five men deliberated for eight days in convicting Laguerre Payen, 28, along with three other defendants – Onta Williams, 34, James Cromitie, 44 and David Williams IV, 29 . They face up to life in prison.
Payen and Williams were found not guilty of one charge, attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States.
Prosecutors said the men, who all lived in Newburgh, a northern New York City suburb, willingly cooperated with an informer working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who posed as a terrorist and supplied the men with inert bombs and Stinger missile tubes.
On May 20 last year, the men were arrested in the Riverdale section of the Bronx after they planted the bombs in cars outside two synagogues.
The authorities said that they also planned to travel to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh to fire missiles at military transport planes.
“Homegrown terrorism is a serious threat, and today’s convictions affirm our commitment to do everything we can to protect against it,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.
“The defendants in this case agreed to plant bombs and use missiles they thought were very real weapons of terrorism,” he added.
Defence attorneys said they will appeal the verdict. (CMC)