Were the Newburgh 4 Really Out to Blow Up Synagogues? A Defendant Finally Speaks Out.

Was David Williams IV a terrorist? Or was he just out to make an easy score by scamming the government's informant?

Cromitie's lawyer, Vincent Briccetti, writes that once Hussain "cynically" turned Cromitie from an angry and disaffected man into someone motivated by money and spiritual reward, "the government designed, funded, supplied, engineered and directed every detail of a[n] . . . entirely fake terrorist plot."

Cromitie, Briccetti writes, had never engaged in any action similar to the plot, nor did he have the resources, skills, or money to do it. And, most importantly, he did nothing "on his own" to further the plot, he writes.

Hussain made up the plan, identified the targets, and supplied the transportation and equipment, including the fake bombs, a non-functioning Stinger missile, a safe house, two storage facilities, rental cars, cameras, and cell phones. He suggested the code words, trained the four men on the weapons, assembled the fake bombs, and paid for everything, including meals, rent, groceries, and personal expenses.

"The defendants, by contrast, did little more than ride around in Hussain's fancy cars and follow his orders to carry bags from one location to another," Briccetti writes. "The government did not produce any evidence that the defendants took a single step to further the conspiracy when they were not with Hussain. In short, this was a government show from start to finish."

He points out that FBI Special Agent Fuller admitted on the witness stand, when the defendants were with Hussain, that the government was "pretty much in control of what the defendants were doing."

"Without the government's guiding hand, no crime would or could have occurred," Briccetti writes.

The motion awaits a judge's decision, but in a previous ruling, one judge noted that if the evidence shows that Cromitie did nothing more than make anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. statements—protected by the First Amendment—"and the government responded by setting a criminal scheme in motion and coaxing it to fruition, the court will have to take a fresh look at the defendants' argument." Briccetti argues that that is exactly what happened.

"Cromitie never came up with any concrete ideas or plans for any terrorist plot," he says.

With a case built around one witness—the government informant—his credibility was naturally a major issue in the trial. The defense claims that Hussain lied repeatedly and exaggerated statements made by the defendants.

The judge herself noted she was "skeptical" about some statements that Hussain made, and said the FBI's notes of their debriefings of the informant "don't reflect many of the significant things Hussain claims to have told them."

"The critical conversations in which Cromitie ostensibly came up with the idea to do jihad are conveniently not on any tape or video recording," the judge noted.

Just to take one example, cited by the defense: Hussain claimed on June 23, 2008, that Cromitie told him he hated Jews and American soldiers and said he would kill President Bush 700 times. But Hussain didn't tell the FBI this when they spoke to him directly after that meeting, the defense says.

Instead, the notes indicate that Hussain said Cromitie "wanted to straighten out and was trying to be a good Muslim." One would think that if Cromitie had indeed made any offensive remarks, the FBI would have noted them.

In a meeting on October 19, 2008, Cromitie complained that Jews treat him differently because he is Muslim. Hussain then told him that Jews are "responsible for all the evils in the world."Cromitie replied, "They aren't responsible for that. I don't want to go that far."

In a separate motion for a new trial, the quartet's lawyers argue that Hussain committed perjury in his testimony. "Hussain lied repeatedly, pervasively and shamelessly," the lawyers write.Confronted with those lies, they argue, the federal prosecutors ignored their ethical and constitutional duties to correct them. Instead, they decided to simply "pretend that it did not believe Hussain told any intentional lies or was perjuring himself in any way, dismissing even the most glaring fabrications and contradictions as nothing more than 'inaccuracies' and 'mistakes' attributable to a 'bad memory.' "

For example, Hussain portrayed himself as a struggling businessman whose only income was a modest amount from a motel he owned and $52,000 from the FBI. Then, on cross-examination, he admitted he had received $250,000 from a family trust fund in Pakistan in 2009 and 2010 and $50,000 more in 2007.

"He lied on his immigration papers, he made fraudulent tax filings, he lied to his probation officer," a source close to the case says. "He had hundreds of thousands of dollars coming into his accounts from unknown sources. Tell me what the government is doing with this CI?"

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors filed a 126-page rebuttal to the defense motions, stating that the jury heard about Hussain's shortcomings, heard the entrapment defense, heard the argument that Cromitie was manipulated, and still found the four defendants guilty.

"The most basic flaw in the defendants' motion is the little heed they pay to the jury's verdict: they press their claims as if they were still at the podium summing up; as if there had been no verdicts of guilt; and as if those verdicts were not entitled to substantial deference," prosecutors David Raskin, Jason Halperin, and Adam Hickey write.

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22 comments
miguel3
miguel3

Fuck them,Hang them all !

Without Pie
Without Pie

I Got A $399 Xbox 360-250Gb (With Kinect) For $42.12! And My Brother In-Law Snagged A $629 Ipad 3G With Wi-Fi Connection For $71.04. Both Are Being Delivered To Our Homes Tomorrow. I Would Be Such An Idiot To Ever Pay High Retail Prices Again. I Recently Sold A 47-Inch Lg Infinia Slim Tv To A Work Buddy For $1200, I Paid $197.31 For It. There Are Two Sites, Both Are Good, BidsGo.Cöm And Snagbids.Cöm

Crickwall2002
Crickwall2002

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.

upstatetimmy
upstatetimmy

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.

Yikes.

Upword
Upword

They're not terrorists. They just play them on TV. Fooling fools is worth big bucks for politicians and police.

Hamel34
Hamel34

"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.

Lucifer Prometheus
Lucifer Prometheus

Wait- who does scamming money from someone who is presumably tied to Al Queda harm? Al Queda maybe. But What the fuck are you talking about exactly? The real criminals here are the officials who sanctioned this wasteful and malicious entrapment of four random guys.

Joe
Joe

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?

alicia
alicia

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

lyric r. cabral
lyric r. cabral

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."

Joe
Joe

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...

Erin
Erin

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.

AVIRONE1
AVIRONE1

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!

Evil
Evil

These criminals do not deserve to sit in jail for life, its a huge tax burden and jails are not effective. Fry these fuckers!

stonejacks
stonejacks

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.

RICHARDMANN27
RICHARDMANN27

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,

suedit
suedit

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.

ghostoflectricity
ghostoflectricity

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.

G
G

$ 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....

alicia
alicia

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

Alicia McWilliams
Alicia McWilliams

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

 
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