Community leaders in Islamberg say the Western New York teens accused of plotting to bomb their small community are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such.
One day after charges against the four teens were made public, community leaders called for a news conference in Binghamton.
“It hurts our hearts that someone would want to plot to cause harm, yet again, to a peaceful, loving community,” said Mayor Amir Rashid Clark.
The community was founded in the early 80s by a group who decided to remove their families from the crime-ridden borough of Queens, NY. Clark says the Islamberg community grows their own crops and farms animals but they are still very much a part of the outside world.
“We live like law-abiding citizens,” said Clark. “Unfortunately, there are those who don’t know this and they’d like to paint another picture which will never stick and which we will never accept.”
Clark then goes on to say the plotted attack against his home is an example of islamophobia and the four suspects should face terrorism charges.
“Where are the terrorism charges?” asked Muslims of America CEO Hussein Adams.
“This is a double standard. Had Muslims been plotting to build bombs, to harm any other communities there would be a sweeping investigation into the radicalization of the suspects as well as the network of criminals that supported the plot,” Adams continued.
Three of the 4 teens charged in the case remain behind bars.
Meantime, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to increase State Police patrols in the area near Islamberg out of an abudance of caution. He also directed the agency's Hate Crimes Unite to assist with the investigation.