4 charged in plot to attack NY Muslim community named Islamberg

4 charged in plot to attack NY Muslim community named Islamberg

Three men and a teenage boy have been arrested and charged over an alleged plot against a small Islamic community in NY state.

Three of the four defendants were in the Boy Scouts together, Phelan said.

"There was a plan to attack this community with weapons", said Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan at a news conference.

Greece Police arrested Vincent Vetromile, 19, Andrew Crysel, 18, and Brian Colaneri, 20, over a nine-hour period on Saturday and Sunday for planning to use IED's against the hamlet of Islamberg, located outside of Binghampton, according to 13WHAM News .

Police said the 16-year-old suspect was showing suspicious pictures on his phone and another student passed along the information. Greece Police Chief Pat Phelan talks about how their investigation began Friday.

The Muslims of America, an organization affiliated with the Islamberg community, did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The statement alarmed fellow students, who reported it to school officials.

In this September 7, 2017 photo, a girl studies for school while a man chops wood in the Muslim enclave of Islamberg in Tompkins, N.Y. Followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani settled Islamberg in the 1980s, fleeing crime and crowding in New York City. Investigators said they had access to 23 rifles and shotguns.

Islamberg is a community operated by The Muslims of America, an indigenous American Muslim organization based in the USA, according to the AP. It was settled by followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani.

Police and analysts have dismissed claims that the small community is linked to terrorism.

A message seeking comment about the new arrests was sent to The Muslims of America.

In 2017 Robert Doggart, from Tennessee, was jailed for plotting to burn down the community's mosque two years earlier.

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for federal charges in addition to the state charges.

Phelan credited the students who reported the lunchroom comment with saving lives.

Had students not come forward with their concerns, "people would have died", he said.

Phelan said officials were not yet sure why the four suspects had chosen to target Islamberg, which is more than three hours from Greece by vehicle.

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