Did an FBI Informant Coerce and Bribe the Newburgh Four Into Trying to Bomb a Bronx Synagogue?

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James Cromitie. Photo: Christopher Sadowski/Splash News

Lawyers for James Cromitie claim that tapes of their client show that Shahed Hussain, an FBI informant in a terrorism sting operation, used coercion and bribery when Cromitie wavered, expressed doubts, and tried to disappear. Cromitie, along with three other men also from Newburgh, New York, are accused of a plot to blow up a synagogue in the Bronx in 2009. Recorded conversations show that when Cromitie refused to answer phone calls, Hussain tried increasingly aggressive tactics, including trying to scare Cromitie and offering $250,000 as incentive to act. Cromitie's lawyers are calling it illegal entrapment. One tape shows Cromitie saying, "I’m just, I’m just lagging. I’m, I’m, I’m thinking. I don’t want nobody to get hurt.” But a few minutes later, Cromitie, the alleged ringleader, appears to change his mind, adding, "I don't care if it's a whole synagogue of men. I will take them down."

Tapes in Bomb-Plot Trial Show Suspect Wavering as an Informer Prods Him to Act [NYT]
Details of Plot Emerge [WSJ]