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The New York terror plot

How dangerous was the alleged terrorist cell busted by the FBI and police?

Here’s a “heartening success story on U.S. counter-terrorism efforts,” said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly. The FBI and New York police have arrested four men and thwarted an alleged plot to bomb two New York City synagogues and shoot down a military cargo plane bound for Iraq or Afghanistan. The break came from an informant, which shows what we can gain by making “more Muslim Americans feel comfortable reaching out” to police.

It’s certainly good news that somebody “snitched” on the would-be terrorists, said Mary Katherine Ham in The Weekly Standard. But “the bad news” is that this cell was homegrown, with three U.S.-born men and a Haitian immigrant. These guys bought fake C-4 explosives and a fake missile from undercover investigators, and were nabbed as they allegedly tried to plant their fake bombs in front of one of the synagogues!

There’s “no doubt” the men—James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen—“expressed violent sentiments towards Jews and others,” said Zachary Roth in Talking Points Memo, “and a desire to commit large-scale terror acts.” But it’s unclear whether the suspects had the “wherewithal and resources” to put together a dangerous attack without the help of the FBI informant, who helped them get their weapons.

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