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Trio plead guilty to terror plot against NY Muslims

30th Aug 2019

Nadine Osman

Three men accused of plotting a terror attack on Muslim community in New York pleaded guilty on June 27.

The three men and a 16-year-student from the Rochester area were arrested on January 23 and accused of planning to attack the community of Islamberg, near Binghamton with homemade explosives.

Police have said the defendants had access to 23 rifles and shotguns and three homemade explosives. Investigators uncovered the plot after a student had reported a suspicious comment in a lunchroom.

Vincent Vetromile, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He faces seven to 12 years in prison. Brian Colaneri, 20, and Andrew Crysel, 19, also pleaded guilty to “terrorism-related conspiracy.” Each faces four to 12 years in prison.

Lawyers for Vetromile and Colaneri said the plea deals were contingent on no federal charges being filed against their clients. However, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for federal charges in addition to the state charges.

CAIR-NY Executive Director, Afaf Nasher, told The Muslim News, “Anyone accused of plotting an act of violence targeting a religious minority should face state and federal hate crime and civil rights charges commensurate with the seriousness of their alleged actions.”

Islamberg is a rural community of about 200 residents. Police and community members have dismissed accusations that the Muslims of America enclave is a “terrorist” training ground.

But the claims have persisted, often on right-wing websites and through social media.

In 2017, a Tennessee man was convicted of federal charges for what authorities called plans to burn down Islamberg’s mosque.

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