new york skyline.
(photo credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters)
NEW YORK – Authorities arrested two men Wednesday night in connection with a possible plot to attack Manhattan synagogues.
RELATED:Corfu Jews mourn loss of prayer books in wake of attackUpper West Side synagogue receives mailed bomb threat
The Anti-Defamation League applauded the New York City Police Department for thwarting an apparent terrorist plot to attack Manhattan synagogues, and called for hate crimes charges to be included against the suspects.
No specific targets had yet been selected by the two men arrested. The two were apprehended in an undercover sting operation after they tried to purchase weapons including grenades and guns. The suspects are expected to be charged under New York’s anti-terror laws.
“The arrests of these suspects is a stark reminder that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to be a favorite target for extremists,” ADL New York Regional Director Ron Meier said. “We are fortunate that the alleged plot in this case was thwarted before it came anywhere close to fruition.”
“This case is a reminder that everyone must remain vigilant when it comes to security,” Meier said. “Since the target in this case might have been a synagogue, it is appropriate to include hate crime charges alongside the terrorism charges.”
The terror threat "was on the radar screen for a few months," before Osama bin Laden was killed May 2 in Pakistan by US troops, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The men are of North African descent, the two law enforcement sources said, and at least one of the men is a US citizen.
The case will be prosecuted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.