New York: Three men and a teenage boy have been arrested and charged for an alleged plot against a small Islamic community in New York state, police said. Also Read - Alert Indian-Origin Driver Stops Train From Hitting Asian Man Pushed Onto Tracks in New York
The suspects have been accused of possessing homemade bombs and firearms, and planning to attack Islamberg, founded by a Pakistani cleric in the 1980s. Also Read - Eid-ul-Fitr Moon Sighting 2021 Highlights in Kerala: Shawaal Crescent Moon Not Sighted, Southern State To Celebrate Eid on May 13
The three men — Andrew Crysel, 18, Vincent Vetromile, 19, and Brian Colaneri, 20 — were due to appear in court on Wednesday. Also Read - Indian-Origin Man Charged With Killing, Sexually Abusing His Mom on Mother's Day in New York
All were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy. A 16-year-old boy is also facing charges, the police said, adding that at least three of them served together as boy scouts.
Investigators say the group, based in the city of Greece in the northwest of the state, made at least three improvised explosive devices using duct tape and large jars and cylinders containing nails and other projectiles.
They were found in the 16-year-old’s home, a police officer added. Some 23 firearms were also found at various locations. The alleged plot was revealed following a tip-off from a school student, the BBC reported.
Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan said the investigation was launched after comments made by the 16-year-old at school on Friday were overheard by a fellow student.
The Islamberg community, located west of the Catskill mountains near the city of Binghamton, has become a target for conspiracy theorists who say it is a terrorist training camp.
The mainly African American group settled there to escape crime and overcrowding in New York City. The community has been described as peaceful and friendly, but right-wing conspiracy-led media outlets keep suggesting that it was a training camp for Islamist militants, the BBC said.
In 2017 Robert Doggart, from Tennessee, was jailed for plotting to burn down the community’s mosque. In 2015, Arizona man John Ritzheimer threatened the community with an armed confrontation.