For Immediate Release: May 25, 2010
CONTACT: Alicia McWilliams: (347) 299- 4973, Anne Gibbons: (212) 7994686
Vigil in Support of the Newburgh 4 –
Four Men Victims of FBI Entrapment
White Plains, NY –– A vigil to support the Newburgh four and their families will be held on Friday, May 28 at 9:30am at the Federal Court House, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY. The rally will draw attention to the unjust entrapment tactics used by the FBI to bribe vulnerable men into government-concocte d terrorist plots. This action is endorsed by WESPAC Foundation, Project SALAM, The Peace and Justice Foundation, the Newburgh Four Support Committee, DRUM Desis Rising Up and Moving, Middle Eastern Law Student’s Association at CUNY Law School, CODEPINK NYC, Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal NYC, Masjid AlTawheeda Peekskill, Al-Awda NY and the Preemptive Prosecution Coalition.
On May 20, 2009, federal and New York City authorities arrested four men on charges of plotting domestic terrorist attacks in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Lawyers for the men, now known as the Newburgh Four, recently filed a motion to dismiss the federal charges, citing entrapment by a paid government informant.
Many people believe that the Newburgh 4, from Newburgh NY– James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen––were unfairly bribed into participating in a government- created terror plot. One had mental problems, one was a cocaine addict, and one was homeless. The agent reportedly offered them tens of thousands of dollars to join the conspiracy. Entrapment, a practice in which law officials trick people into breaking the law (which the defendants would have not broken otherwise) is becoming a more common tactic since the U.S. government began its War on Terror. The legality of this practice under the Constitution is debatable.
All four men have served time in prison and have found it near impossible to find work given their criminal records. They considered the informant, Malik, “a good Muslim brother” who would help them with their financial and medical problems. Malik relentlessly pursued the men, would show up in various luxury cars and provided them with large amounts of money and marijuana. He bought them food, took them out to dinner, paid the rent for James, and promised to give James his BMW. He told David Williams he would receive $25,000 to pay for a liver for his brother, who is fighting liver cancer. Laguerre Payen, a schizophrenic who can’t be deported to Haiti due to his mental illness, was arrested in a crack house surrounded by bottles of his own urine. Alicia Mc Williams, David Williams’ aunt, recounted that prior to Malik’s arrival “these four couldn’t organize a successful barbecue let alone plot a terrorist attack.”
The indictment of the Newburgh Four is just one in a long series of illegal entrapments. The FBI hires Muslim criminals as agents provocateur to infiltrate Muslim communities and try to involve innocent law abiding members in illegal activities by large gifts of money, friendship, trickery and manipulation. Many people question the morality of FBI entrapment as a valid method of enforcing justice. Anne Gibbons, a resident of the Bronx says, “The idea that these entrapments are legitimate law enforcement activities that make us safer is ridiculous and shocking. The use of agents provocateur by the FBI is morally wrong and a danger to the rule of law in this country.”
The Newburgh 4 have a court hearing scheduled for May 28th at 10:00am at the Federal Court House in White Plains. The actual trial is scheduled two weeks later on June 14th at the same location.