Three men and a high school student were charged with planning an attack on Muslims of Islamberg in New York State, reports AP.
The four wanted to attack the Muslim enclave west of the Catskill Mountains with rifles and explosives. They were equipped with 23 rifles and pistols and three improvised explosive devices. It is unclear when they planned to carry out the attack. In addition to the confiscated weapons, several electronic devices were found, including telephones and computers. An improvised explosive device was found at the home of the 16-year-old high school student who was arrested. Three of the defendants were together in the Scouts.
The attack was prevented by a casual remark by a student in the dining room of the school in the town of Greece. On Friday the student showed his friends a picture of a boy on his phone and said to them: "He looks like the next man to do a school massacre, no?" A student who heard the comment was present-minded and reported the remark to school staff.
School guards and the police interviewed the student who blurted the comment and the student who made the report. Thus, an investigation was launched during which five targets were searched, and finally the plan was exposed to attack Muslims of Islamberg in Delaware County of New York State. The arrested student attends school. The student appearing in the picture on the phone is not suspected in the affair.
"The students relied on their instincts," praised Greece's Police Chief. He thanked the students for preventing the attack against the Muslims. "If they'd carried out this attack, and every indication is they would have done it, people would have died. I don't know how many, but they would have died."
Islamberg was founded in the eighties by Pakistani Sufi cleric Mubarak Ali Gilani. American Muslims, especially blacks, came to the countryside to escape the crowded city of New York where crime raged. Islamberg is the first of 21 communities set up under the direction and tutelage of Gilani. "Holy Islamberg", as residents refer to it, is also the headquarters of the Muslims of America organization.
For years, reports have been published in the United States that Islamberg is operating a terrorist base where Muslims are trained to become terrorists. Police have denied these reports.
Two years ago, a US court convicted a Tennessee man who planned to burn the mosque in Islamberg in 2015. He was sent to prison.