The Australian ABC has a link to a story about the arrest of some Presbyterians who were going to blow up some synagogues and the Empire State Building. Of course when you see the names of the suspects who are from Middle Eastern countries, but are now American citizens, you will probably guess correctly that these are not your everyday loving Presbyterians…. Lutherans? Catholics? Amish? Jews?…. Nah…. go on take a guess….
They were caught after one of them purchased a gun and other equipment. Their intention was to blow up a series of synagogues as well as the Empire State building:
New York police commissioner Ray Kelly says the pair were caught when Ferhani bought two semi-automatic pistols, a handgun and a hand grenade from an undercover police officer.
“Just before Ferhani was apprehended he said he wanted to obtain more handguns, silencers, a box of hand grenades, bullet-resistant vests and police radios,” he said.
“By way of explanation, Ferhani said … he was fed up with the way Muslims were being treated around the world – ‘They are treating us like dogs’.”
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance described the men as Islamist extremists.
“They did it for jihad, something they referred simply to as ‘the cause’, which meant the violence and armed fight against Israel, Jews and other non-Muslims and the West,” he said.
“They are charged with engaging in this conspiracy as a crime of terrorism.”
Despite the sensitive timing, authorities have found no direct ties between the men and Al Qaeda or any other operational terrorist group but say they were “home-grown lone wolves”.
Mr Vance says the transcripts of Ferhani’s conversations are “frightening”.
“While this defendant is not charged at this time with membership in any terrorist cell, make no mistake, he was very clear about what he wanted to do – get guns, get explosives, blow up synagogues and kill Jews,” he said.
“He was committed to violent jihad and his plans become bigger and more violent with each passing week.”
Major terrorism cases are generally investigated by the FBI. This is the first time a state terrorism law brought in after September 11 has been used to address a terrorist threat in New York City.