A major news story this week focused on the bust of a group of would-be domestic terrorists allegedly planning to bomb synagogues in New York City and fire a missile at a military plane.
JTA reports that in a Jewish Community Relations Council of New York conference call Thursday afternoon, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Joe Demarest, assistant director of the FBI’s New York division, said there was no intelligence to suggest any particular reasons that the Riverdale Temple and Riverdale Jewish Center were targeted by the four men arrested.Â
More from JTA:
Kelly said that “it’s safe to say” that the foiled plot was the “work of aberrant individuals” and doesn’t represent a trend or pattern, but added that “we don’t know what we don’t know” and thus have to be vigilant.
The two officials noted that all the bombs and missiles the plotters had were fake, and Demarest said that a gun the men purchased late last month was “disabled” by their confidential informant in a way that the defendants were unable to determine that it could not be fired.
Looking a little more closely at the terrorism plotters, Bruce Schneier, who writes a blog about security and security technology, makes four points: 1) there was “little dangerÂ of an actual terrorist attack” (and politicians are Â are using the incident to “peddle more fear”); 2) the alleged plotters wereÂ caught by traditional investigation and intelligence;Â 3) the four individuals caught “were idiots” incapable of, say, running a bath; and 4) an informant from the FBI helped the group develop their plan of action over a period of months (see point No. 3).