A jeweler, apparently seeking revenge against former business associates, went on trial Monday for falsely reporting that five Arabs were plotting to bomb New York subways on the Fourth of July last year.
The hoax by Rimon Alkatri, a native of Syria living in Brooklyn, caused "an intensive and widespread investigation" that stretched to the Mideast and involved the men he had named, Assistant District Attorney Barry Ginsberg said.
Alkatri told investigators that the plotters were five Syrians working in the jewelry business, Ginsberg said. The names turned out to be those of five business associates with whom Alkatri had disputes, he said.
Ginsberg told the state Supreme Court jury in opening remarks that Alkatri knew his report of an impending explosion in a mass transit facility resulting from a plot by five men was "false and baseless."