Four people in Rochester, including a minor, are facing serious charges after an alleged plot was uncovered to attack a local Muslim community. New York police arrested three men, aged 20, 19 and 18, as well as a minor who is being charged as an adolescent offender. It is unclear at this time whether any of the four have sought criminal defense representation.
According to the findings of the investigation so far, a student at a local high school overheard a conversation involving at least one of the accused individuals referencing a school shooting. The student reported the conversation, and school security conducted interviews in conjunction with local law enforcement. They say they uncovered a plan to assault a nearby Islamic community in Delaware County.
Police uncovered some 23 weapons, including shotguns and rifles, some of which are believed to be owned legally by family members of the suspected individuals. Officers also found phones, computers and what they believe to be improvised explosive devices. The exact charges filed against the four individuals believed to be complicit in this alleged plot were not included in this report, but local community organizations have pointed out that targeting a religious minority may constitute a hate crime on both the state and federal levels.
Of course, the idea of a coordinated attack on American civilians from any quarter is a monstrous thought, but it is also important to remember that the accused individuals are entitled to the presumption of innocence. It will be up to New York prosecutors to tie all four to the alleged terror plot if a conviction is to be won. Each of these persons will be represented by a criminal defense attorney who will work in conjunction with their clients to develop a strong defense against the charges.