web analytics
January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Bronx Plot Points Up Threat From Independent Attackers


WASHINGTON – The arrest of four men accused of plotting to attack two Bronx synagogues underscores the threat to Jewish targets by individuals or small groups, several experts said.


From the shooting at a Los Angeles Jewish community center 10 years ago through the attack on the Seattle Jewish federation building in 2006, to the suspect targeting Jews at Wesleyan University in Connecticut earlier this month, an individual or small group not formally connected with al-Qaeda or any major international terrorist group was at the center of the threat.


Police believe that the four suspects arrested last week – James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen – were working alone. They were taken into custody the night of May 20 shortly after planting fake explosives, which they believed to be real, in cars parked outside the Riverdale Temple, a Reform synagogue, and the Riverdale Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue. They also wanted to shoot down military planes at a nearby base, according to reports.


Reports that an FBI informant played a key role in encouraging and financing the plot has prompted questions about how serious a threat was posed by the four suspects. But several security experts who work with the Jewish community said the case provides a clear road map for protecting against potential threats.


“All you need to know about terrorism you can learn from this case,” said Steve Pomerantz, former assistant director and director of counterterrorism at the FBI.


Jews will always be at the top of the list of targets for terrorists, he said, and groups unaffiliated with a large international terrorist group are “at least as dangerous” as well-known groups such as al-Qaeda because they can “more easily slip through the intelligence net.”


Paul Goldenberg, the executive director of the Jewish-organized Secure Community Network, stressed “one common denominator” present in all the past plots: hostile surveillance by the attackers.


“They were methodical enough and premeditated enough to plan and study the target,” said Goldenberg, whose network was established 3½ years ago by the United Jewish Communities and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to coordinate and advise on security procedures within the Jewish community.


For example, the criminal complaint for the New York plot states that last month, one of the defendants “photographed several synagogues and Jewish community centers in the Bronx and elsewhere for consideration as possible targets in a planned terrorist bombing campaign” and said bombing one of the JCCs would be a “piece of cake.”


That’s why employees and others at Jewish institutions need to be “extremely cognizant” of what’s going on around the facility, Goldenberg said, because individuals could be watching the building, studying the patterns in which people enter and the times security guards patrol the surroundings.


“If people are acting nervous in a location where they shouldn’t be, say something,” he said, adding that while most institutions have video camera surveillance, personnel must be trained to spot potential dangers.


The fact that the suspects in the New York case and others acted independently and are not affiliated with any foreign terrorist group, Goldenberg said, does make it “very difficult to track them.”


“Just because they’re not members doesn’t make them any less dangerous,” he said, adding that they are “influenced by the materials they read.”


Goldenberg stressed that with the recent arrests, there is “no further threat to any Jewish institution” from the plot.


Speaking at the Riverdale Jewish Center just hours after the plot was foiled, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the suspects “stated they wanted to make jihad.”


The four men, all of Newburgh 60 miles north of New York, are Muslims, and three reportedly are recent converts to Islam. Payen is a native of Haiti.


Pomerantz noted reports that the plotters met in prison, similar to the four men arrested in Los Angeles in 2005 on charges of plotting terror attacks on Jewish and military targets.


Yehudit Barsky, director of the American Jewish Committee’s division on Middle East and international terrorism, said prisoners often are attracted to Islam when incarcerated because of the “cohesiveness of the group.” Barsky has been tracking that issue.


“There are different social networks in prison” and Muslims will often pray together, eat together and protect each other, she said.


The defendants are likely to argue in their defense that they really were not that involved in the plot and that the government informant, who allegedly acquired the weapons for them, actually had directed the operation.


Pomerantz said the fact that the plot went as far as actually planting the weapons, although inoperative, made it unlikely that such a defense could be successful.


“This is as good a case as you can have,” he said.


(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bronx Plot Points Up Threat From Independent Attackers”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers evacuating wounded near northern border town of Ghajar.
Northern Golan Heights Declared Closed Military Zone
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a security assessment with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and other security heads at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday night that “whoever is behind today’s attack will pay the full price.”

Gazans getting supplies from UNRWA in Rafah.

The Gazans are protesting the freeze in the money transfer from the UN for rehabilitating their region.

Israel's President Ruby Rivlin

Rivlin returning early to Israel from US trip due to situation in northern Israel.

The soldiers were part of an IDF convoy that was using a civilian road, one that hundreds of civilians use on a daily basis.

The GOC Northern Command declares Israel’s northern border with Syria in the Golan Heights to be a closed military zone.

The names of the IDF soldiers killed by Hezbollah at Mount Dov on Wednesday have been released for publication.

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters celebrate IDF deaths Wednesday by giving sweets to motorists.

8:03pm Channel 2 reports that Hezbollah terror cell was located 5 kilometers from Israel, and not within Israel as originally thought.Soldiers in 2nd vehicle were saved after they jumped out of the vehicle when they saw the 1st one attacked. Hezbollah fired 5 long range anti-tank missiles at the cars.Major Yochai Kalangel is survived by […]

Two IDF soldiers were killed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah in the most serious attack on Israel since the start of Syria’s civil war.

Soldiers hit in missile attack were patrolling in non-armored jeeps.

Arab brother, sister were apparently planning attack.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has confirmed that rockets were fired first at Israel from Lebanon, provoking IDF into retaliation.

The IDF announced that two Israeli soldiers were killed as a result of the Hezbollah terror attack earlier today.

One UNIFIL soldier is dead in the wake of an attack on Israel by Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group.

Jordan has caved to ISIS and agreed to swap a terrorist prisoner for its hostage pilot.

More Articles from Eric Fingerhut

WASHINGTON – A window was shattered by a pellet gun in an apparent vandalism attack at her Tucson district office. Sarah Palin has put her on the list of Democratic lawmakers she is targeting this fall. Arizona Tea Party activists are pledging to help defeat her bid for re-election.

WASHINGTON – A window was shattered by a pellet gun in an apparent vandalism attack at her Tucson district office. Sarah Palin has put her on the list of Democratic lawmakers she is targeting this fall. Arizona Tea Party activists are pledging to help defeat her bid for re-election.

WASHINGTON – Opinion polls are expected to provide a simple answer to an important question: What are the people thinking? But the details often reveal a much more complicated picture.

WASHINGTON – A U.S. congressman is the latest to call for a Justice Department investigation into whether a pro-Palestinian group has been raising money on college campuses for Hamas.

WASHINGTON – Some conservatives are accusing the Anti-Defamation League of launching a partisan attack following its report asserting that a “current of anti-government hostility” has swept the United States in the year since Barack Obama was elected.

WASHINGTON – As Sarah Palin embarked on a tour for her just published book Going Rogue, she became the latest prospective Republican presidential candidate to criticize the Obama administration’s policy on Israel.

WASHINGTON – A new survey shows that a majority of American Jews would support a U.S. military strike on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons – a significant increase from a year ago.

WASHINGTON – A new survey shows that a majority of American Jews would support a U.S. military strike on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons – a significant increase from a year ago.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bronx-plot-points-up-threat-from-independent-attackers/2009/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: