Police patrols increased at upstate New York Muslim enclave targeted in foiled attack

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A security post at Islamberg, Tompkins, N.Y., in 2017. (AP file)

The New York State Police has stepped up patrols around a Muslim enclave in upstate New York that was the apparent target of a foiled attack.

"I applaud the authorities who thwarted this attack and the students who courageously raised the alarm with police and potentially saved lives," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, I am directing State Police to increase patrols in the area."

The governor also directed the Hate Crime Unit to help local cops in the investigation, which led to the arrests of three young men and a 16-year-old in the Rochester area for allegedly planning to attack Islamberg, a small community in Hancock, Delaware County, west of the Catskills.

Authorities charged Brian Colaneri, 20, Andrew Crysel, 18, and Vincent Vetromile, 19, with weapons possession and conspiracy counts. A 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile. Police said they had access to 23 rifles and shotguns and three homemade explosives.

For years, right-wing groups and websites have raised suspicions about Islamberg, even accusing it of housing a terrorist training camp.

The Muslims of America Inc., a group that runs Islamberg and several other communities around the country, denounced the planned attack.

"It is beyond tragic that our nation continues to fester with Islamophobia, hate and religious intolerance," the group said in a statement. "To bring justice and properly deter similar terrorist plots against our community, we are calling for the individuals charged, as well as their accomplices, to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

With The Associated Press