No Letup In Political Witch-Hunts Under Obama - by Stephen Lendman
For eight years, the Bush administration relentlessly targeted Muslim, environmental, and animal rights activists as national security or terrorist threats. Shamefully, Obama continues the same practice.
On May 20, the FBI arrested four New York men, claiming they planned to bomb a Bronx synagogue and community center and shoot down Newburgh, New York-based Air National Guard jets with stinger missiles.
The same day Justice Department press release said:
The charges against James Cromite (aka Abdul Rahman and Abdul Rehman), David Williams (aka Daoud and DL), Onta Williams (aka Hamza), and Laguerre Payen (aka Amin and Almondo) include "plot(ting) to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and to shoot military planes....with Stinger surface-to-air missiles. In their efforts to obtain weapons, the defendants dealt with an informant acting under law enforcement supervision, and the FBI and other agencies monitor(ing) the defendants' actions up to the time of arrest, including providing an inactive missile and inert explosives to the informant for the defendants."
It's a familiar scheme involving an FBI sting using an informant to entrap unwitting victims, in this case four poor black Newburgh, New York men who'd converted to Islam, two while in prison for unrelated charges. Cromite was called the ringleader. A Pakistani man named Shahed Hussain (aka Malik) was a paid FBI informant facing prison and/or deportation on dozens of fraud counts. He was enlisted to cooperate in return for leniency.
He's the same man used earlier for four separate stings, Yassin Aref among them, an innocent man, entrapped and victimized, now serving a 15 year prison term, and a valued friend of this writer. In post-9/11 America, he's one of many Muslim victims of police state justice. They've been targeted, persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, kept in isolation, denied bail, tried on secret evidence on trumped-up charges, convicted by juries too intimidated to acquit, and sentenced to long prison terms for being Muslims at the wrong time in America. Others for being environmental and/or animal rights activists. It went on under George Bush and continues under Obama. When the Newburgh 4 are tried in late 2009, they'll face 25 year to life sentences if convicted on one or more charges.
They're petty felons, not terrorists, with criminal records on drug-related charges, assault, and Payen's unrelated weapons charge for firing a BB gun hitting two people in the head, then snatching purses from two women the same day. He's a Haitian citizen. The others are Americans, and both Williams men aren't related. They apparently met in prison where two of them were introduced to Islam.