Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bronx Bomb Plotters Sentenced to 25 Years

James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams who were convicted on terror-related charges last year in a plot to blow up Bronx synagogues and blow up planes taking off from Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, New York, were sentenced to 25 years in prison.
During sentencing, Judge Colleen McMahon said the government “created acts of terrorism out of (Cromitie’s) … fantasies of bragadicio and bigotry and then made those fantasies come true.” But she said she “cannot condemn” the defendants enough and blamed their motives on their hatred for Jews.

“All the evil in this world is due to bigotry and mindless hatred that is rooted in human beings ridiculous and unjustified suspicion of anyone we can categorize as the other on the grounds of race or ethnicity or religion or nationality,” McMahon said.

Their lawyers had argued that they deserved leniency because they were under the spell of a paid FBI informant posing as an Islamic extremist and promising a big payday, and that they never posed an actual threat.

Before sentencing, Cromitie said, “I’ve never been a terrorist and I never will be a terrorist. … I’m very sorry for letting myself get caught up in a sting like this one made up by the government.”

Prosecutors argued that by law it didn’t matter that the men never had access to real weapons and were under close watch the whole time. They called the defendants “ticking time bombs” who agreed to do “horrible things” and needed to be put behind bars for life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raskin had argued for a life sentence, saying: “This would have been a colossal terrorist attack and the fact that it was all fantasy really doesn’t matter because in their minds, they thought it was real.”
It's a just sentence considering the seriousness of the charges.

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