Bronx bomb plot
The new issue of the 'Village Voice' (July 7) features an article by Graham Rayman on the recent Bronx bomb plot, focusing on what has been learned (in the weeks since the arrest of the 'Newburgh 4' in late May) regarding the role of the FBI's informant.
Full article is here:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly held press conferences at the synagogues to reassure New Yorkers about their safety. During Kelly's remarks, it was startling to hear the commissioner refer to al-Qaeda by name, if only to say that the four purported home-grown terrorists had no ties to Osama Bin Laden's organization.
As more details emerged, however, the less the four defendants sounded like men with the skills to plan a sophisticated terror plot. They were small-time crooks, felons with long criminal records whose previous activities revolved around smoking marijuana and playing video games. One defendant, Laguerre Payen, was arrested in a crack house surrounded by bottles of his own urine; his lawyer describes him as "mildly retarded."