James Cromitie is the alleged leader of the 2009 New York City bomb plot, a scheme to shoot down military airplanes flying out of an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York and blow up two synagogues in the Bronx.
In April 2009, Cromitie and his three alleged accomplices chose their targets. They allegedly attempted to both bomb the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx, and, using Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, shoot down military planes flying out of a nearby air base.
Cromitie, an African American, claims to have been born a Muslim; others claim that he and some or all of the other suspects converted to Islam in prison. He allegedly recruited them at the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque in Newburgh, New York, which he attended.
Cromitie (also known as Abdul Rahman), age 53, also claims that his parents live in Afghanistan and told the FBI informant that he was angry about the US military killing Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He had lived in Brooklyn and had a record of 27 arrests for minor crimes both upstate New York and in New York City. The four are being held at a Westchester County jail, and their lawyers declined to file bail applications.