Happy Yom Yerushalayim.
Between yesterday and today, we were greeted BY some pretty shocking news, just on time for our celebration of recapturing Jerusalem 42 years ago. This LONG post is meant to shed some light on what's been happening since yesterday; please read through it, I think it will help you understand what is going on. You need to be very, very careful right now. I am reiterating my warnings of last week.
First of all the bombshell that made headlines all over the world: the exposure, for the whole world to see once and for all , of the UTTER EVIL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Until now, the Church could always claim that the stories of pedophilia, abuse, torture, rape, and other monstrous acts by nuns and priests were isolated incidents condemned by the Vatican.
But this latest report coming out of Ireland is extremely damning. There is no way the Church can avoid the disgrace, shame, plain horror of what its clergy is all about. THE CHURCH, as a RELIGIOUS ENTITY, IS FINISHED, as of today, you should know.
Maybe it will continue to rule through sheer force and tyranny, but its psychological hold on Catholics is over, THE SPELL HAS BEEN BROKEN, and you cannot put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. This is the BEGINNING OF THE END FOR ROME, at least as far as I can tell. Just on time for Yom Yerushalayim. Good bye Kishuffim, good bye sorcery, good bye mind control. Maybe they still have a hold on some very ignorant, backward and illiterate congregants, but anybody who can read, and has the internet, can see for themselves the extent of the degeneracy of that so-called religious, hypocritical body called the CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Roman Catholic Church accused again
According to Reuters, an Irish report details child abuse that has occurred in the last decades in state schools and orphanages run by the Roman Catholic Church.
The report consists of chronologically-listed statistics about incidents and reactions to these incidents throughout the world.
"In July 2008, Pope Benedict apologized for sexual abuse by clergy during a visit to Australia, condemning it as 'evil' and saying that abusers should be brought to justice. The comments are believed to be the first time the pope has specifically apologized for sexual abuse by clergy and stated clearly that abusers should be brought to justice," said the report.
At that time there had been 107 convictions for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church there. That number may have changed since then.
- Just to remind you, this very same pope, when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, otherwise known as the Inquisition, before becoming pope, authored a ruling designed to create a veil of silence over these events, and therefore shield the church of criticism and judgment. That is why none of the perpetrators are being brought to justice in Ireland, and that is why the victims are so devastated and angry, and why the rest of the catholic public is so disenchanted with this religion of evil that is showing its true face, finally, for all to see.
So some media, ever obliging, instead of blaming the Church, blame Ireland. Not to say that Ireland isn't guilty as well, but the PRIMARY CULPRIT IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!
Abuse 'Ireland's darkest chapter'
But some finally say it like it is. The world is simply fed up, Catholics are losing their faith, they are MAD!
Sexual abuse scandals have rocked the Church around the world. Pope Benedict publicly apologized to victims in Australia last year and met others in the United States in an effort to heal the scars.
In 2007, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims in the largest compensation deal of its kind. There have been 107 convictions for sexual abuse in Australia.
"It was far more shocking than I imagined. I would ask people to sit down, read it and weep."
Details of ritual humiliation, torture and slave labor were splashed across Ireland's newspapers. The Irish Times described the report as "the map of an Irish hell" while the tabloid Irish Daily Mirror's front page simply read "You evil monsters."...
An abuse too far by the Catholic church
Tales of systematic abuse in Irish Catholic institutions leave me wondering how long I can continue to feel part of this church
Thursday 21 May 2009 16.31 BST
This could not be worse. The Ryan report is the stuff of nightmares. It's the adjectives which chill: systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary, endemic. They pretty much tell the whole story of the violence and sexual abuse suffered by a generation of some of the most vulnerable children in Ireland over several decades of the middle of the 20th century. This is a crisis for Ireland – Irish bloggers yesterday were describing the scandal as their equivalent of the Holocaust – but it is also a crisis for global Catholicism. After all, it is not just Ireland going through this terrible reckoning with its Catholic history but the US, Australia and to some extent the UK.
The Ryan report's meticulous gathering of evidence over several volumes paints a picture of a system of church and state in Ireland which was horrifically dysfunctional with its combination of sadism and deference. Page after page punches the point home with relentless clarity. Squarely in the frame are the religious orders who systematically protected and tolerated their members' actions even when they knew they were breaking the law. But also culpable is the state charged to inspect the childrens' homes and schools. It was too deferential to the Catholic church to ever do the job properly.
When child abuse in the Catholic church first began to be taken seriously in the late 80s/early 90s, the line of argument reluctantly conceded after straight denial became impossible to sustain, was that it was all about a "few bad apples". But the Ryan report destroys this fig leaf of a defence because of the sheer scale of what went on. The report rightly challenges the relevant religious orders to "examine how their ideals became debased" and why it was that they consistently put the interests of their institutions before individuals.
The report is so damning, not just in dealing with the past, but on how it calls up short present behaviour – the lamentable reluctance of the religious orders to engage with the inquiry or fully accept their role. The report argues that the public apology by the Christian Brothers was "guarded, conditional and unclear", and that "it was not even clear that the statement could properly be called an apology".
The Irish government has officially apologised and is footing the lion's share of the bill for compensation to victims. The Ryan report calls for a national memorial. There is growing pressure for some commensurate gesture of atonement from the Catholic church. The apologies flooding out yesterday seem too little, too late. And there is still, extraordinarily, denial – ranging from Mary Kenny's jaunty variety of "I've never met a priest who is a paedophile" to the new Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who praised the courage of the religious orders concerned and seemed to exonerate their reluctance to face the past as "instinctive and quite natural". It's a form of wording which, from such an experienced media operator as Nichols, beggars belief.
There needs to be a far more probing analysis of the structure of authority within the Catholic church, and the culture of deference and obedience expected of lay people towards priests. These bred a preoccupation with maintaining the prestige and authority of church institutions; any threat to that priority – regardless of the cost to the welfare of individuals - had to be stifled. These are the characteristics which have made the Catholic church morally bankrupt.
As one Jesuit-edited blog put it this week:
Why did so many Catholic institutions fail so appallingly? A hundred reasons can be suggested, but three come to mind: undue respect for authority (which was self-justifying and rarely self-critical); religious authoritarianism (government of communities by self-perpetuating cliques, who rarely saw the need for fresh thinking); and a rancid clericalism (product of a religious culture that increasingly turned in on itself).
How can this cosiness by shaken up, challenged and reformed? This is not a new debate within the Catholic church; ever since the second Vatican council in the early 1960s there have been a minority who believed that the hierarchy of the church owed more to the Roman Empire than it did to the Jewish carpenter, and have sought measures of reform. But their efforts have met with so little success that they have retreated to the margins faced with a resurgent conservatism. Many others have given up the fight, and abandoned Catholicism altogether as too irredeemably unreformable.
The whole sorry chapter raises a very private dilemma. For years now, I've had an intermittent conversation with an admirable and devout relative: How long can we hang on? When do our fingernails break? Belonging to any institution involves sometimes having to clamp a clothes peg on your nose, as my colleague Polly Toynbee urged in the very different circumstances of disaffected voters sticking with Labour in 2005. But there comes a point when the clothes peg option runs out, the fingernails break.
The Catholic church is one of the world's most enduring institutions: no other global body counts more than a billion adherents whose practices and behaviours are guided by an organised, disciplined hierarchy, but this whole awful history of abuse is a reminder that too often in history that institutional survival has come at the cost of everything it purports to believe.
21 May 2009
Archbishop tries to defuse abuse remarks row
21 May 2009
Case study: 'I knew I was next to be flogged'
20 May 2009
The church's hidden shame | Mary Kenny
21 May 2009
Irish Catholic church child abuse: 'A cruel and wicked system'
The Guardian's Ireland correspondent on a long-awaited report into abuse suffered by thousands of children at institutions run by priests
8 Mar 2009
Bishop John Magee steps down after accusations of child abuse inaction
30 Sep 2008
Catholic priest who sexually abused girls 30 years ago jailed
20 Jul 2008
Call for apology over sex abuse cases in Ireland
8 Jan 2008
Catholic church under pressure to stop sale of paedophile's book
However, if you go to the CATHOLIC PRESS, BARELY A WORD IS SAID ABOUT THIS HUGE SCANDAL!
I checked out L" OSSERVATORE ROMANO, the offficial internet newspaper of the Vatican. Although the English edition , as well as the other foreign language editions, are posted weekly, which might explain why this huge scandal is not mentioned, the ITALIAN EDITION IS A DAILY PRODUCTION: so for sure, one would have expected the Vatican to react to these absolutely shocking news: but no, not a word. The Church continues as usual, as though nothing had happened. Discusses all their beautiful thoughts of love, and spirituality, and peace, etc. etc., ad nauseam: but THE TRUTH? CONDEMNATION OF WHAT HAPPENED? FACTS? No, sorry, nothing there.
Bottom line: the Church is doing a massive cover-up, and damage control again. But it is too late this time, the sieve is full of holes.
However, the Church continues to PREACH TO COLLEGE STUDENTS ABOUT MORALITY, even has the AUDACITY to discuss SEXUAL PERVERSION and CRIMINALITY OF STUDENTS, but not of its own priests!
"But what does it profit us if a student is an intellectual giant but a moral baby," he asked, "if he or she can shoot out mathematical or historical facts like a computer but is unfortunately a problem for the parents, corrosive acid among companions in the college, a drug addict and sexual pervert, a disgrace to the school, a waste-pipe in the place of work and 'Case No. 23' for the criminal police? It is clear that intellectual development is not enough."
The former Vatican official acknowledged that defending morality can bring difficult consequences. "A person who holds that certain actions, like direct abortion, are always objectively wrong, is regarded as 'judgmental,' or as imposing his views on others," he said.
But, citing the teachings of Benedict XVI, the cardinal added: "The exercise of freedom in pursuit of the truth is very much a part of integral education. If a Catholic college or university does not help in this way, should we not say that it has failed in one of its important roles?"
But it gets better:
Today , in Israel, we find an item on Ynet, about a new course being OFFERED IN THE YESHIVOT, to prevent SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN ULTRA-ORTHODOX SCHOOLS!
But surprise, surprise, WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS NEW COURSE, that is supposed to help the PERVERTED ORTHODOX JEWS? SHATIL. Who is Shatil? NEW ISRAEL FUND, i.e. the FORD FOUNDATION!
So what we see here is desperate DAMAGE CONTROL, BY THE PROXY OF THE VATICAN, DEFLECTING THE ATTENTION, AT LEAST IN ISRAEL, AWAY FROM THE PERVERSION OF THE CHURCH, AND ATTRIBUTING IT TO THE ORTHODOX WORLD INSTEAD!
12:56 , 05.20.09
Workshop: Preventing sexual harassment in yeshivot
New course will train yeshiva students to give workshops on sexual abuse prevention in ultra-Orthodox schools. 'Sexual assault is made much easier in haredi society, because kids are separated from their mothers at a younger age,' explains rape center manager
Between a Gemara class and a morality class hesder yeshiva students will attend a special course at the Rape Crisis Center for Religious Women. The course is meant to train yeshiva students to become instructors at workshops on the prevention of sexual harassment, which they will give at high school yeshivas and ultra-Orthodox schools.
The objective of this initiative is to provide religious and haredi teenagers with tools to prevent assault, and teach them how to act in case they were victim of abuse.
"There's an epidemic of sexual abuse of children in Israel," said Debbie Gross, who runs the center. "This epidemic exists in all the sectors, including the religious and haredi ones. We are talking about a very serious phenomenon, which I believe can be substantially reduced through these workshops.
"We are already running similar workshops in kindergartens and elementary schools. The problem is that some schools don't allow us in classes over the fourth grade, not to mention yeshivot, which don't let us in at all because they don't want women to host the workshop.
"This is exactly why we needed to train men. We approached the heads of the hesder yeshivot and they agreed," she said.
Is there a difference between the religious and haredi public and the secular public with regards to sexual abuse?
"The only difference is that in the religious and haredi society abuse is made much easier, because of the gender separation. A predator would go to places where there are no mothers to protect their children. For instance, a haredi mother can't take her son to the swimming pool from the age of 8-9. So the kids sometimes go with an older brother, who doesn't always keep an eye on them.
"Additionally, in our education system we have men teaching children from the age of three. This doesn't exist in the secular system, where one can graduate from high school without ever having a male teacher. We know that an attacker usually seeks a profession that allows him to be close to kids," Gross explained.
The course was made possible thanks to a grant from the Shatil organization, the Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel.
There is more. The Church is ALSO BLAMING ISRAEL FOR THE POOR SHOWING AT THE POPE'S MASS LAST WEEK, WHEN IN FACT THE SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS HAD BEEN COORDINATED VERY CLOSELY BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE VATICAN.
13:27 , 05.21.09
Vatican seeks answers for low turnout for pope's Jerusalem mass
Roman Catholic Church officials say they would like an explanation from Israel for the poor turnout at Pope Benedict XVI's open-air mass in Jerusalem last week.
Monsignor Antonio Franco, the papal nuncio in the Holy Land, said Thursday that church officials are still trying to figure out what happened. He says he's received reports that worshippers with tickets were turned away at the entrance while others received their tickets too late. Some 5,000 worshippers expected at the May 12 mass next to the Garden of Gethsemane but no more than 3,000 people arrived. (Reuters)
BUT BEWARE: SOMETHING MUCH MORE SINISTER IS GOING ON.
THE CHURCH SEES THAT NETANYANU IS STANDING FIRM,
today is Yom Yerushalayim, Jews are celebrating the UNITY OF JERUSALEM UNDER JEWISH CONTROL,
AND THE VATICAN JUST RECEIVED A HUGE BLOW TO ITS IMAGE.
SO NOW IT TURNS TO ITS USUAL , ALWAYS SUCCESSFUL WEAPON: ANTISEMITISM.
I HAD WARNED YOU ABOUT AN UPSURGE OF ANTISEMITISM IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS (even without this damning report in Ireland!) . SO HERE IS WHAT'S GOING ON:
1.THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS IS BEING SUMMONED TO THE VATICAN.
I AM SURE IT IS NOT TO PLAY NICE WITH THE JEWS.
THE VATICAN IS GETTING VERY SERIOUS NOW. THE ANTISEMITISM CARD IS BEING PLAYED TO THE FULLEST.
If you recall, in my article "Perfect Crime", I had explained to you that if the Church doesn't get its properties, it would use antisemitism as retaliation. You can see it now.
But there is the additional factor, today, of the dramatic slipping of the Church's reputation following yesterday's revelations, just as we are celebrating, and so the need to create additional antisemitism, to deflect the attention away from itself, and unto the Jews.
World Jewish Congress leaders to meet with Vatican official and Italy's PM
Original article: ejpress.org/article/36623
60 Updated: 19/May/2009 15:25
NEW YORK---Members of the Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress, led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, will meet in Rome on Wednesday with the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to discuss the state of Catholic-Jewish relations following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Israel.
On the same day, the WJC leadership will also be received by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Ronald S. Lauder said the meeting with Cardinal Bertone "will provide an important opportunity to discuss future joint initiatives enhancing the already strong relationship between the Holy See and the Jewish world."
Lauder also said that he wanted to thank Prime Minister Berlusconi for Italy's principled stance on the Middle East conflict, the fight against terrorism and its sponsors, and the Italian withdrawal from the Geneva United Nations Durban Review Conference in April.
"The Jewish people know that in Rome we have strong allies, and we are grateful for that," Lauder said.
The New York-based World Jewish Congress is an international organization representing Jewish communities in 92 countries around the world.
NOTICE THE SUDDEN FAKE BOMB THREATS IN ARGENTINA,
Bomb Threats, Anti-Semitism in Buenos Aires
(IsraelNN.com) Coming after violent anti-Semitic attacks at a recent public street celebration, two Buenos Aires synagogues received bomb threats this week that proved false. The Amaijai and New Israeli Community synagogues who received the threats are both located in the Jewish neighborhood of Belgrano.
Local Jewish political umbrella president Aldo Donzis said that anti-Semitic incidents in the city have increased Israel's military operation in Gaza at the beginning of the year, and now new incidents are popping up "not even linked to Gaza but merely anti Jewish."
What is going on here? This appears to me as a WARNING TO JEWS OF THE GALUT, TO FORCE ISRAEL TO DO THE CHURCH'S WILL, OR REAL TERROR WILL SOON FOLLOW.
See the article that appeared last week in the Jerusalem Post: supposedly by a friend of the new ambassador of Israel to the US, BEGGING HIM TO ASK ISRAEL TO COMPLY BY THE TWO STATE SOLUTION, OR AMERICAN JEWS WILL SUFFER!!
But since falling into line behind the two-state solution, the position has become a linchpin of American Jewish identity, and American Jewish public life. We depend on being able to say that Israel is ready to make peace, that Israel recognizes the concept of a Palestinian state, that Israel as the Middle East's only democracy treats in Arab minority with full rights. Right now, in the privacy of their conscience, I would guess that many centrist American Jews are wondering if they can still say all these things so credibly. It's going to be on you, more than on anyone, to either convince them they can or persuade them why they shouldn't.....
Now let's analyze this so-called terror plot in NY, by some strange coincidence being revealed and caught today. Its effect was to strike terror at the hearts of both the reform and the religious Jewish community of New York City.
However, if you follow the story closely, you will see that these so-called terrorists are in fact petty Muslim criminals, who met in jail, and who obviously hate Jews, and wish they could kill us all. But the fact is , without the BRAINWASHING OF THE FBI,etc. and the ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF THE AUTHORITIES, these stupid, incapable criminals would never have been able to carry out this so-called TERROR ATTACK.
This was a clear case of ENTRAPMENT. And one should ask WHY THIS WAS DONE, and WHY DID IT COME OUT, of all days, today?
1. THE CHURCHES HAVE DECIDED TO UNLEASH A CAMPAIGN OF ANTISEMITISM, as I had told you earlier, PLANNED FOR TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY.
2. THIS IS A WARNING TO THE DIASPORA JEWISH COMMUNITY TO FORCE ISRAEL TO COMMIT SUICIDE< OTHERWISE JEWS IN AMERICA WILL SUFFER.
3. TO THAT EFFECT, RONALD LAUDER WAS SUMMONED TO THE VATICAN, TO MEET WITH OUR DEAR AND WELL KNOWN FRIEND., SECRETARY OF STATE TARCISIO BERTONE, THE VERY SAME BERTONE WHO TRANSMITTED THE BLESSING OF THE POPE TO THE CRUSADE BEGUN IN LOURDES THIS PAST WEEK-END, AND THE VERY SAME BERTONE WHO SUPERVISED THE FAILED ( in their eyes) BILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS RE: HAR TZION.
4. THE UTTER DISGRACE OF THE CHURCH EXPOSED YESTERDAY GIVES THIS EVEN MORE URGENCY. THE CHURCH IS GETTING DESPERATE! AND DESPERATE PEOPLE DO DESPERATE THINGS!
SO THE CHURCH, RIGHT NOW, IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO JEWS OF THE DIASPORA.
I AM REITERATING MY WARNING TO JEWS ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT PARTICULARLY IN AMERICA, IN NEW YORK, even more so than last week, after what transpired in the last couple of days:
BE VERY CAREFUL; THE CRUSADE IS STARTING, AND IT IS GOING TO BE BRUTAL!
IT WILL BE PERFORMED BY THE MUSLIMS, AS YOU CAN ALREADY SEE; POOR, BRAINWASHED, HATEFUL SHMOCKS ONLY TOO HAPPY TO COMPLY, BUT WHO WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO DO ALL THIS WITHOUT THE BIG BOYS 'HELP!
May G-d watch over all of you. But be smart: your life is more important than all your possessions!
Riverdale Jews 'worried' by synagogue terror plot
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
David Winter, the executive director of the Riverdale Jewish Center, said on Thursday that police had assembled local rabbis in order to brief them on an averted plot to detonate a bomb outside the Jewish Center and the Riverdale Temple.
"The chief of the New York Police Department explained to us that four Muslims had planned to carry out a terror attack against the temple and the Jewish Center," Winter told Army Radio Thursday morning. "This definitely causes me worry, but it also makes me say thank God that the FBI prevented the attack and that we are all safe."
New York Jews generally felt safe, he said, which is why they were so surprised to hear of the averted attack. "We are Jews and we have a strong connection with Israel; we know what terrorism is; we experienced terror up-close on September 11, but we never imagined that it would end up on our doorstep," he said.
The four men had planned to detonate a car with plastic explosives outside the Jewish Center and to shoot military planes at the New York Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, authorities said.
Winter said that the security arrangements around the Jewish community were already tight and that the community would "continue to do everything necessary in order to stay safe."
"We need to continue to be Jews and continue to be free, and we will do everything in order to fulfill this goal," he said.
Terror plot timeline: How the investigation unfolded
May 21, 2009 11:40 AM
Federal authorities say the plot to bomb two Jewish houses of worship in the Bronx and to blow up military planes at the Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh was in the making for nearly a year.
Officials say the four alleged plotters, Newburgh residents James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, had been under surveillance since October 2008.
Here, according to court papers, is how the investigation unfolded:
JUNE: Cromitie meets with a confidential witness at the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque in Newburgh. Cromitie explains that his parents live in Afghanistan and he's upset that U.S. military forces are killing many Muslims there and in Pakistan. He expresses an interest in doing "something to America."
The confidential witness has been working with federal investigators for the past six years. The unnamed witness entered into a cooperation agreement with the feds after pleading guilty in 2002 to participating in a criminal fraud scheme.
Court papers describe information provided by the witness in this investigation and other probes as being "accurate and reliable."
OCTOBER: Agents of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force begin to monitor and record with concealed audio and video equipment the plotters' meetings.
NOV. 29-30: Cromitie travels with the confidential witness to Philadelphia for a meeting of the Muslim Alliance of North America. They discuss the best targets to attack in New York. Cromitie says the World Trade Center, "the best target, was hit already."
DECEMBER: The plot advances, with discussions involving the need for code words, securing explosives and logistics about scouting out the Air National Guard base.
APRIL 10: Cromitie, David Williams and the confidential witness go to the Wal-Mart in Newburgh to buy a digital camera to photograph several synanogues and Jewish community centers in the Bronx as possible targets. Cromitie comments that bombing one community center would be "a piece of cake."
APRIL 24: Cromitie and David Williams go with the confidential witness to an area "immediately adjacent" to the Air National Guard base to scout out a location from which they could launch a surface-to-air guided missle. Williams also photographs the airfield and the military aircraft at the Air National Guard base.
APRIL 28: The four plotters meet at a house in Newburgh with the confidential witness to advance their plans.
MAY 1: Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Payen go to a cell phone store in Newburgh to buy four new cell phones for their plot.
MAY 6: Cromitie, David Williams and Payen go with the confidential witness to Stamford, Conn., to secure what they believe to be a guided missle system and three improvised explosive devices containing C-4 explosives and bring them back to Newburgh. The Stinger guided missle system was not capable of being fired and the C-4 explosives were inert.
MAY 8: The plotters meet at a Newburgh storage facility to inspect the missle system and to review how to operate it.
MAY 20: Authorities arrest the four.
Onta Williams also known as Hamza is led by police officers from a federal building in New York, Thursday, after being arrested by the FBI on charges related to a plot to bomb targets in the Bronx section of New York.
Officials told The Associated Press the arrests came after a long-running undercover operation that began in Newburgh, NY, about 110 kilometers north of New York City.
The men were charged with conspiracy to use within the and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, the US attorney's office said.
The men had planned to detonate a car with plastic explosives outside a temple in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale and to shoot military planes at the base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, authorities said.
The defendants planned to "destroy a synagogue and a Jewish community center with C-4 plastic explosives," Acting US Attorney Lev L. Dassin said.
The religious targets were the Riverdale Temple, founded in 1947, and the Riverdale Jewish Center, authorities said.
In their efforts to acquire weapons, the defendants dealt with an informant acting under law enforcement supervision, authorities said. The FBI and other agencies monitored the men and provided an inactive missile and inert C-4 to the informant for the defendants, a federal complaint said.
The investigation had been under way for about a year.
In June 2008, the informant met one of the men, James Cromitie, in Newburgh and Cromitie complained that his parents had lived in Afghanistan and he was upset about the war there and that many Muslim people were being killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by US military forces, officials said.
Cromitie also expressed an interest in doing "something to America," they said in the complaint.
In October 2008, the informant began meeting with the defendants at a Newburgh house equipped with concealed equipment, the complaint said.
Beginning in April 2009, the four men selected the synagogue and the community center they intended to hit, it said. They also conducted surveillance of military planes at the Air National Guard Base, it said.
Rep. Peter King, the senior Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, was briefed on the case following the arrests.
"This was a long, well-planned investigation, and it shows how real the threat is from homegrown terrorists," said King, of New York.
Sen. Charles Schumer said if there can be any good news out of this case it's that "the group was relatively unsophisticated, penetrated early and not connected to any outside group."
The men -- James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen -- were petty criminals who had met in prison. They do not appear to have been acting in concert with any larger terrorist group. All are native-born Americans, except for Payen, who is Haitian.There's no doubt the men expressed violent sentiments towards Jews and others, and a desire to commit large-scale terror acts.
But it's not clear whether these men would have carried out any terror plot without encouragement and material support from an FBI informant. The New York Times reports that "a federal law enforcement official described the plot as "aspirational" -- meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives."
Indeed, the complaint paints a picture of a plot in which the FBI informant played a central role from the start. The informant met Cromitie, the apparent ringleader of the plot, last June at a Newburgh mosque. Cromitie told the informant that his parents had lived in Afghanistan, that he was upset about the US killing Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that he would like to do "something to America." Soon after, the informant falsely told Cromitie that he (the informant) was a member of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Cromitie said he too would like to join, in order to "do Jihad."
From there, the plot began to slowly take shape, with the informant playing a central role throughout. The informant helped to procure fake homemade bombs, and accompanied the men in obtaining a surface-to-air guided missile system and three IEDs. The informant also accompanied the men in buying handguns for use in the plot.
So based on what we know, it looks like the suspects had definite intentions to follow through on their ambitions to commit violence -- but whether they had the wherewithal and resources to have done so without the help of the informant is less clear.
The mother of suspect David Williams wouldn't speak on camera, but his aunt said he hasn't seemed himself lately.
"When I embraced him about a week and a half ago, when I held him, I said, 'something's not right,'" Aahkiyaah Summings said. "Because I wasn't holding my nephew, the one that I know and love."