Four Arrested for Plotting to Attack Southern Tier Muslim Community

4 arrested in plot to attack Muslim community in New York

Court papers say they meant to use several improvised explosive devices wrapped in duct tape that were shaped like cylinders and a mason jar.

According to a news conference held Tuesday by local law enforcement, at one point during the hour an unnamed 16-year-old boy approached a group of classmates and brandished a photograph on his cellphone.

Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan told reporters Tuesday the Rochester-area residents had made plans to attack Islamberg, a rural Muslim enclave west of the Catskills. Police have recovered 23 firearms and three improvised explosive devices so far.

A seemingly offhand remark in a high school lunchroom set off an investigation that uncovered an arsenal of weapons and a plot to attack a Muslim enclave in upstate NY, law enforcement officials said.

All were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy.

The statement alarmed fellow students, who reported it to school officials.

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They were found in the 16-year-old's home, police said.

According to WHAM in Rochester, Vincent Vetromile, 19, Andrew Crysel, 18, and Brian Colaneri, 20, were arrested over the weekend. "But they were homemade bombs with various items, black powder, BBs, nails, that type of thing inside a container", said Chief Phelan. They're being examined right now at the Federal Bureau of Investigation lab in Quantico. Today, around 200 people live at the site, which is run by the The Muslims of America, a USA -based Islamic faith group that operates Muslim communities across North America. The mostly African American settlers of Islamberg first came to upstate New York in the 1980s to escape crime and crowding in New York City.

Islamberg was the target of another planned attack in 2015 when Robert Doggart, a former congressional candidate from Tennessee, was arrested. A 16-year-old boy is also facing charges.

"If they had carried out this plot and there's every indication is that they were going to, people would have died". Three of the four males knew each other through their participation in Boy Scouts, Phelan said.

A message seeking comment about the new arrests was sent to The Muslims of America. Two years ago, a Tennessee man was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison for plotting to attack the enclave.

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