White teenagers arrested for plotting to attack Black Muslim community
Police arrested four white teenagers for an alleged plot to attack a predominately Black Muslim community, after one of them made an alarming remark to classmates.
After a 16-year-old Greece Odyssey Academy student showed a picture of another student to classmates and asked, “he looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?” classmates became alarmed and notified school officials.
USA Today reports that after interviews with the student, Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan uncovered a “serious plot” to attack the community of Islamberg, an upstate New York community, home to hundreds of second and third generation African American Muslims.
Phelan said, “If they had carried out this plot, and we have every indication that was what they were going to do, people would have died. The kid who said something saved people’s lives. Everything worked and as a result, nobody’s dead and that’s a good story.”
On Saturday, the police arrested 19-year old Vincent R. Vetromile, 20-year old Brian F. Colaneri, 18-year old Andrew C. Crysel, and the 16-year old student. The police found 23 firearms and 3 homemade bombs. Since then, all have been charged with the felonies of conspiracy and possession of weapons.
Phelan indicates that more people may be arrested as the investigation continues.
This is not the first time Islamberg has been targeted. In 2017, Robert Doggart was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for organizing 10 men to attack the community. Doggart allegedly told a police informant, “Those guys (have) to be killed.”
The white supremacist threats of violence to Islamberg demonstrate the intersections of anti-Black racism coupled with Islamophobia. Some observers pointed out that government officials and right wing leaders have consistently described Islamberg as a “terrorist training” ground, which is the same ideology as the white supremacists who made threats.
Ryan Mauro, who's made appearances on Fox News, heads the #FuqraFiles, an online initiative of the @clarionproject. The initiative advances conspiratorial claims abt #Islamberg & predominantly rural African-American #Muslim communities. https://t.co/60rLiupC7m pic.twitter.com/RV89o3V8nd
— Mobashra (@mobbiemobes) January 23, 2019