The four men arrested Wednesday after planting what they believed to be bombs near two New York City synagogues appear to be homegrown would-be terrorists, says the Christian Science Monitor. The FBI says they met in prison in the U.S. – not some far-off training camp along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Even without organized instruction, so-called “bunches of guys” jihadists can still be very dangerous. Participants in the New York temple plot allegedly were willing, even eager, to attack unsuspecting civilians and U.S. military aircraft.
“The desire was clearly there,” says Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert and professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. The temple plot suspects were apprehended after planting a 37-pound inert explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple, and two more inert bombs outside the Riverdale Jewish Center, another synagogue a few blocks away. The four men did not know that the “bombs” they had planted would not have exploded. An FBI informant had infiltrated the group, and provided dummy explosives and other weapons.