ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three men were charged with plotting to attack a rural upstate New York Muslim community with explosives, authorities said Tuesday.
The three Rochester-area men are accused of plotting to attack Islamberg, a 60-acre Muslim enclave west of the Catskills, according to court papers.
Police in the Rochester suburb of Greece this weekend arrested 20-year-old Brian Colaneri, 18-year-old Andrew Crysel and 19-year-old Vincent Vetromile. Each was charged with weapons possession and conspiracy.
Court papers say they intended to use several improvised explosive devices wrapped in duct tape that were shaped like cylinders and a mason jar.
It was unclear whether the men had lawyers yet. Attempts to reach relatives to comment weren’t immediately successful.
Police planned a Tuesday news conference to release more details.
The rural community in Delaware County is by The Muslims of America settled by followers of Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarik Gilani. The mostly African-American settlers first came to the area in the 1980s to escape crime and crowding in New York City.
Police and analysts have dismissed accusations that the 60-acre community is a terrorist training ground, but the claims have persisted for decades.
In 2017, a Tennessee man was convicted on federal charges for what authorities called plans to burn down Islamberg’s mosque in 2015. Robert Doggart, now 67, is serving time in federal prison.
A message seeking comment about the new arrests was sent to The Muslims of America.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)