Police foil plan to attack Muslim community in New York; 4 arrested

New York: Police foiled a plan to attack the Muslim community in upstate New York on Tuesday and arrested three men and a high-school student. The suspects, residents of Rochester-area, were allegedly planning to bomb the small Muslim enclave of Islamberg, a rural settlement about 150 miles (241km) northwest of New York City.

While Brian Colaneri, 20, Andrew Crysel, 18, and Vincent Vetromile, 19, face weapons and conspiracy charges, the 16-year-old student at Odyssey Academy, a school in Greece, New York, was charged with the same offences but was not identified due to his age. 23 rifles and shotguns and three home-made explosives were seized from them.

As reported by Al-Jazeera, a lunchroom comment by the student during school on Friday launched the investigation.

During the search at five locations, police seized 23 weapons and numerous electronic devices, including phones and computers.

According to the police chief, had the plan executed, people would have died.

Islamberg was founded more than three decades ago by a group of black Muslims who follow the teachings of Pakistani Sufi scholar Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. This was not the first time the town in Delaware County was targeted. A Tennessee man had also plotted to attack the enclave two years ago and was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.