BREWSTER, NY( May 12, 2011) Senator Greg Ball (R, C, 40th District –Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee released a statement today shortly after authorities announced that they had arrested two men in connection with an alleged terrorist plot to attack a New York Area synagogue.
Senator Ball stated, “As recently as a few weeks ago I visited with local civi and religious leaders in some of New York’s Jewish Communities to discuss with them the vulnerable and exposed underbelly of these precious neighborhoods. I intend to dig deeper into this pressing concern at my June (date) Homeland Security hearing to determine how we can coordinate the efforts of local, state and federal agencies to protect both the public and private attriubutes of religious institutions, buildings and neighborhoods.”
“As a community we must all work to watch over each other, and I urge members of the community to remain vigilant as they are the first line of defense against those who seek to destroy the United States and our very way of life. If you see something, say something”
The two men, Moroccan Mohammad Mamdouh and Algerian Ahmed Serhani, are said to be “homegrown” terrorists born in Queens. The two men were caught on wiretaps discussing the plot, which allegedly had been hatched several months before Osama bin Laden’s death. The two men were seeking to purchase hand grenades and guns for the attack.
Senator Ball, recently met with religous and community leaders from the Jewish Community in Brooklyn. The Senator discussed with leaders the specialized security concerns faced by those in these vulnerable communities. The Senator will join law enforcement and community leaders in further discussion leading up to the next installment of his series of public hearings “To Determine the State of Security in New York, Ten Years after 9/11,” which will be held in Albany, on June 15th 2011, in Hearing Room A of the LOB.