By Brian Mann
Police in upstate New York have arrested three men and a 16-year-old youth on weapons and conspiracy charges. The four allegedly plotted a bomb attack against an Islamic community. At a news conference Tuesday, police chief Patrick Phelan from Greece, N.Y., a suburb outside Rochester, said the suspects assembled an arsenal including more than 20 firearms and three improvised explosive devices.
“There was a plan to attack this community with weapons,” Phelan said. “If they had carried out this plot — and there’s every indication is that they were going to — people would have died. I don’t know how many and who, but people would have died.”
Phelan declined to talk about the motive for the attack, citing the ongoing investigation.
Islamberg lies in a rural area about 200 miles southeast of Rochester, near the city of Binghamton, N.Y. It was settled by Muslim families in the 1980s, and about 200 people live there. Local authorities and neighbors say the community is peaceful, a long-established part of the region’s culture.