NEW YORK — Four men accused of plotting to blow up synagogues and shoot down military planes believed that the scheme concocted in a government sting would kill innocent New Yorkers, a prosecutor said Monday in closing arguments at the men's trial.
"The defendants thought this was real — real bombs, real missiles — every step of the way," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raskin told a jury in federal court in Manhattan.
Lawyers for alleged Muslim mastermind James Cromitie and co-defendants Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen, have accused the government of entrapping harmless dupes with a paid FBI informant posing as a representative of a Pakistani terror organization.
Raskin argued that the men needed no prompting to launch a jihad operation.
"The FBI did exactly what it's supposed to do," he said. "It caught four dangerous men before they could do any real harm. ... Ordinary people wouldn't even dream of what these defendants did."
"[Cromite] didn't say, 'I'm out of here. This crazy Pakistani is not for me,'" Raskin said. "It wasn't the CI doing any convincing. Cromitie wanted those weapons."
The tapes, he added, showed Cromitie "wanted to be a soldier in America, but not for America."