US: Homemade bombs in plot to attack NY Muslims real

15th Feb 2019
US: Homemade bombs in plot to attack NY Muslims real

By Umar Farooq

 

WASHINGTON (AA): A new FBI report Thursday shows homemade bombs obtained by authorities in a case of individuals plotting to attack a Muslim community in upstate New York were real, and could have caused damage if used.

In the report, obtained and published by ABC affiliate 13WHAM News, the FBI outlined three improvised explosive devices that had been created and concluded the bombs could have caused not only property damage, but also personal injury and even death.

The FBI did not respond to Anadolu Agency’s request for comment.

Brian Colaneri, Vincent Vetromile and Andrew Crysel were arrested last month after the Greece Police Department uncovered a plot to attack the Muslim enclave of Islamberg with explosive devices.

Police also arrested and charged Nicholas Pheilshifter, 16, in connection to the plot.

In addition to the three explosive devices, during the investigation authorities uncovered a stockpile of 23 weapons in the home of Pheilshifter.

While the report was heavily redacted, it showed a full eyewitness account of a 15-year-old boy who said Pheilshifter showed him one of the bombs, a “PVC pipe covered in dark tape,” in or around November of last year.

Pheilshifter is currently being held on $1,000,000 bail.

Islamberg, 40 miles away from Binghampton, New York, was founded in the 1980s by Mubarak Ali Gilani, a cleric originally from Pakistan, as a rural enclave for Muslims who were escaping crime and poverty that existed in urban areas. The community is comprised largely of black Muslims.

Right-wing groups claim the town is a haven for extremists and terrorists, however, no evidence has shown to support the allegations.

A 2008 counter-terrorism analysis from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point concluded there is no evidence that Islamberg is a part of a network of “paramilitary training grounds.”

However, due to right-wing claims. the Muslim enclave has been targeted multiple times, including in 2015 when a Tennessee man plotted to attack and burn down a mosque, school, and cafeteria in the community.

[Map of US. Creative Commons]

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