By Araceli Cruz
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
"We knew nothing was going to happen," he adds. "He offered the money, and we were just plotting to rip him off."
In a recent letter to a friend, Williams writes, "My role—our role in this case—was to get over on the CI and get that money he was offering us."
Williams says that when they spoke outside of the presence of the informant, they only talked about what they would do with the money they would get. They never spoke about "jihad," or the plot, or anything related to terrorism.
Moreover, he says that the four men barely knew each other. He knew Cromitie a little through his brother, who worked with him at Wal-Mart. He knew Onta Williams better because they'd sold drugs together in the past. He didn't know Payen at all.
"Prior to this, I never actually interacted with James [Cromitie]," Williams says. "Before this, I never really sat down and talked with him. Then, all we did was smoke lots of weed and played video games—NBA 2K, mostly," he says.
Williams says he didn't meet Hussain until April 10, 2009, just five weeks before the phony plot took place.
"I came into this basically at the end, and the other two defendants came in five days after me [records show it was April 28]," Williams says. "When I came in, everything was already in the making—planning, codes, targets, day of the operation, the whole government made-up mission."
He says Hussain gave him $160 during that period, and promised to get him money for his brother's liver transplant operation and a doctor who could help. Williams says he only cooperated with Hussain because he wanted to take even more money from him.
Cromitie, meanwhile, was also not being very truthful with Hussain. Cromitie claimed he was the commander of a team training for jihad in the woods with guns. It wasn't true. Cromitie promised to introduce Hussain to this "security team," but never did because it didn't exist.
Cromitie claimed he had gone to Afghanistan. He claimed he had blown up a police station. He claimed he served 15 years in prison for attempted murder. He claimed he stole handguns from Wal-Mart. None of it was true.
"Every time James lied to him, or said something anti-American or whatever, the informant would give him money," Williams says. "Cromitie knew what the informant wanted to hear and gave it to him so he could get that money. I even lied to the informant about a bunch of stuff. Like I said, we were always lying to him, and he was always lying to us."
Williams added, "I told the CI a bunch of stories about prison that were exaggerated. I never said anything about being radical. Just as far as seeing stabbings. Again, we were just trying to convince him that we were this band that was going to do this."
In the trial, the government made much of the May 6, 2009, meeting in which Hussain showed the four plotters the "missile." Asked why he even attended that meeting, Williams says, "Every move we made, it was because of [Hussain]. I didn't want to go to that meeting. But we were following along, looking for the money—we was just playing the script. I said things that obviously I wasn't going to do. He was lying to us, and we was lying to him."
Williams says he had an open grand larceny case in Queens for which he was scheduled to be sentenced on May 13. If the FBI hadn't secretly intervened and had the date changed, he would have been in jail when the supposed plot climaxed on May 20.
When that critical day came, Williams says that the informant outmaneuvered them by refusing to give them the keys to UPS mailboxes supposedly containing the cash until after they left for Riverdale. "He knew if he gave us the keys in Newburgh, I would have been out of that car," he says.
As proof of this decision not to commit violence, Williams claims that none of the defendants actually switched on the cell-phone triggers for the "bombs." It was Hussain, he says, who connected the phones to the bombs.
Williams says that about five minutes after he was deposited near the synagogue—supposedly to act as a lookout—he decided to walk away. He wanted to visit his son in Coney Island and went looking for a subway station. It got dark, and he got a little lost looking for the station.
"I walked toward the highway, but then it got dark, so I went back around looking for a hill where I had seen the subway station," he says. "A helicopter was following me, and that's when the SWAT team jumped out on me."
"He was leaving the situation," Alicia McWilliams says.
Because Williams never testified, the federal jury never got to hear his side of the story. That's something that he now regrets. "The lawyers were like they were going to pick [Hussain] to pieces," he says. "They said we don't need to testify. They felt they were strong enough to win. I wanted to testify, and I wish I had. I have a lot to say."
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Thanks! for your article and all the work that went into it. But I read William N. Grigg's piece (ProLibertatae) in October, where he makes it very plausible that this whole thing was a set up, the jury's verdict notwithstanding.
Hussain was also an informant a few years ago in a similar entrapment-style case in Albany--the two guys he "stung" were just average Muslim citizens, who are now doing 15 years hard time.
According to Sch'dy Gazette columnist Carl Strock, Hussain was in hot water for overstepping his bounds as translator for Arabic-speaking people taking DMV license tests--and actuaslly doing the tests for them--and acted as CI in order to make these felony cases go away.
They're not terrorists. They just play them on TV. Fooling fools is worth big bucks for politicians and police.
"we planned to never hurt not one soul," "
Completely at odds with his other statement that he intended to scam the undercover out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. I guess they just charged him with the wrong crime.
Did any of them even once call 911 or an anonymous tip line when they thought they had a car full of bombs being delivered to the target?
People don't want to look at what the Government did. this is what they want people to be so blinded by fear will they are criminal and sociopath as will - it take a dame sociopath to manufactured a crime= conspiracy plot's this government dose not have any Intlegrity so they are saving us from what people need to wake the hell up this is our own America dirty War and it will destroy us COINTELPRO All this have been done for thier own self-interest & Unconstitutional political bigoted- HPOCRISY -THSI IS THE AMERICAN DREAM this dame government is Dysfunctonal with it viciouns cycle with WAR Truning on your own Amercan people and use them for war so your short- sighted thinking people keep thinking they saving you until it time for them use your family what a fuck up world we live IN
Since the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, no American citizen has been hurt or injured, on US soil, as the result of "Islamic terrorism" (Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter does not fit traditional definitions of terrorism). Yet, since 9/11, over 120 Americans have been arrested under suspicions of purported terrorism, for crimes where no one was injured. Of these 120 individuals arrested, 49 people were "caught" through the use of a criminal FBI informant. Yet actual terrorism cases, such as those of Umar Farouk Abdul-Mutallab (underwear bomber) and Faizal Shazhad (Times Square bomber), were not investigated nor thwarted by the FBI. The only reason we are now safer is because of the terrorists' human error. The Newburgh Four case illustrates the inefficacy and fiscal waste of using our tax dollars to fund FBI informants, as opposed to investigating genuine national security threats. David Williams IV's story is critical in analyzing the flaws in our national counter terrorism strategies.
"All thinking people oppose terrorism, both international and domestic. But one should not be used to cover the other."- poet Amiri Baraka, from "Somebody Blew up America."
Dozens of Americans have been injured or hurt by Islamic terrorism on US soil. Nidal Hassan is exactly the definition of terrorism, so does the LA airport shooter by a radical Muslim, the Seattle Jewish center shooting, also a radical Muslim, the numerous cases of Sudden Jihad Syndrome when a Muslim decides to use his vehicle as a weapon and drove into a crowd...
i know onta williams. he is not a terrorist nor a sociopath. these men are convicts/drug dealers yes but they are not killers. without this informant and the government planning the whole thing these guys would never have even thought to do anything so heinous. just because you've been in jail before doesn't make you a terrorist. these guys were not capable of doing this on their own so what is the big deal? they have men who were no threat to th US in jail and tons who are a threat still on the streets. maybe if the FBI worked as hard as they did to get the Newburgh 4 to get REAL terrorists the world would be safer. as far as im concerned this case was a waste of time and money. they should be home with their families not in jail.
Village voice has fired all their legitimate reporters to save money and instead print this crap; UNSUBSCRIBE ME PLEASE AND FROM YOUR NEW GRUPON IMITATION WHICH I DIDN'T ASK FOR AS WELL!
These criminals do not deserve to sit in jail for life, its a huge tax burden and jails are not effective. Fry these fuckers!
Black men account for 38.2% of the prison population but are just 12.4% of the gen'l pop. Poor, undereducated, criminal records, family issues, drugs ...He converted to islam we can only assume for the same reasons anyone else converts or commits. He/They could have taken the plea. - -. They were recruited. The crime was set up for them."he did nothing to further the plot," $250K motive. There was a crime and because of their very poor judgement, they are involved. They are not, however, criminals.
You are insane what is a criminal in your definition,It appears these men lived a life of crime and are typical of the predators that terrorize ordinary Black folk trying to live and raise their children.No it is probably not true that they were jihadists; just low-life criminals. They deserve every year that they are sentenced to which could include life. They did in fact plant what they thought were bombs..They need never see the light of the Black community again where they would continue to rob,and terrorize ordinary hardworking BlACK FOLK,
Would one rather back away and wait until after the deal is done? Could you bring back the dead once it occurs? If people would report these threats rather than go along for whatever reason, they would not have to face jail time. Violence is running rampant in the world and our country has suffered for it. Whatever their intent, they are guilty as is anyone who is aware of a crime and for profit ignores what could have been a deadly outcome. For our country to remain safe, it is time to keep ears open and to stop making excuses for criminals. There are many poor who manage to lead honest lives and often succeed because of it.
This guy is a thug and a sociopath. Now he says that he "only" was trying to cheat a govt. informant out of $250,000. But why should anyone believe anything Williams or his fellow thug/sociopaths say? OF COURSE he tries to minimize it now. But, unlike the other commentators on this thread, I don't think threats against Jews are a "joke" to be laughed off. This guy would say/do anything now that his EVIL ass is in a sling to minimize and rationalize what he did. Maybe the FBI ain't perfect, certainly not, but this guy has the credibility of the snake who famously tricked the woman into letting him ride across the river on her back. Anyone who believes a word of this self-serving, violent-minded criminal, who now tries to tell us that murderous threats against the Jews were just part of a "trick," deserves to be snake-bit. I hope he rots in prison for a long time, and then rots in hell.
$ 250,000 and a BMW would tempt many people to play along . Perhaps , when details of these kind of patsy manufacturing and manipulations become well known , it will be more difficult for the Feds to use that tactic .
Recall the Feds and the DA encouraged , financed and even helped build the '93 WTC bomb with their guys Emad Salem , Ali Muhammad and Melvin Latimore - the FEDS are really un-indicted participants in mass murder of American Citizens . Details of Ali Muhammad's involvement in the '93 WTC case and also the African embassies in bombing '98 , was shelved for 40 years by Janet Reno and he was later released by Ashcroft . Salem was paid over a million dollars and Latimore may be drifting around with a government (taxpayers) paycheck....
If people remember the Civil Rights Year in 1954-1965 come out on March, 24, and stand we me outside the court house @ 500 Pearl st It time for us to stop talking about the issues and stand as the people of America, I will stand up for the Injustice in this case, the Government is not Above the we give them the power and they are losing their moral this is essential a lessons for us all on leadership and social justice. for us all as the people of America we do not have no more civil right movement only government movement I will keep making a impact and keep my eyes on the prize
For a short documentary about this important story and other FBI "entrapment" cases targeting Muslims, see Entrapment or Foiling Terror?
This family was use a case that should have never happen right here on America Soil with hollywood producers to manfacture a crime that come right out of the movie in 1997 wag the dog with Dustin Hoffman and Rorbert De Niro right now our polical system is broken and disfunctional selling family off for polical gain and the violation of human right so one have to ask in this case dose the end justify the mean -when our government make Informant above the law and when our own government become above the law insitigating plots which violates our consitutional right we as the people need to take a look at what going on or fear will kill you