Islamberg: Three plead guilty to conspiring against New York’s Muslim community | News on Islamophobia
Investigators uncovered the plan and arrested the three men in January after a student reported a suspicious comment.
Three young men accused of conspiring to attack a Muslim community in upstate New York with homemade explosives have pleaded guilty.
The three men and a 16-year-old high school student from the Rochester area were arrested in January and charged with planning to attack the community of Islamberg, near Binghamton. Police said the defendants had access to 23 rifles and shotguns and three homemade explosives. Investigators uncovered the plot after a student reported a suspicious comment in a lunchroom.
Friday, Vincent Vetromile, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted first degree criminal possession of a weapon. He faces seven to 12 years in prison.
Brian Colaneri, 20, and Andrew Crysel, 19, also pleaded guilty to “conspiracy relating to terrorism”. Each faces 4 to 12 years in prison.
“Mr. Colaneri and Mr. Crysel both admitted to conspiring, they both admitted to agreeing to … basically kill members of the Islamic community in Islamberg,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz told reporters outside the court.
“And Mr. Vetromile, he admitted his role in the acquisition, if you will, of the various explosive devices.”
Attorneys for Vetromile and Colaneri said the plea deals were contingent on there being no federal charges brought against their clients.
The 16-year-old high school suspect’s case was being handled in youth criminal court.
Islamberg is a rural community of around 200 inhabitants. Police and community members have dismissed accusations that the enclave of Muslim America is a “terrorist” training ground. But the claims persisted, often on right-wing websites and via social media.
In 2017, a Tennessee man was convicted of federal charges for what authorities said was a plan to burn down the Islamberg mosque.