Updated 08/25/2010 06:05 PM
FBI Agent Testifies In Trial Of Men Accused In Synagogue Bomb Plot
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The FBI handler of an undercover informant testified Wednesday in the the trial of four men accused in a plot to blow up two Bronx synagogues and shoot down military planes.
Prosecutors say a paid government informant approached James Cromitie after hearing him talk about his hatred of Jews and a desire to hurt Americans, which was allegedly sparked by United States military actions in the Middle East.
Cromitie and three other defendants, Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen, have pleaded not guilty to plotting the attacks.
The informant, Shaheed Hussain, who was known the defendants as "Maqsood," told them he was affiliated with a Pakistani terrorist group, and would fund the attacks and supply the materials.
The defendants say Hussain offered them money and fake explosives to carry out the attack.
Robert Fuller, the FBI agent who is the so-called "handler" of the confidential informant, was the first and last person to testify. At one point in his testimony he held up the fake bombs and stinger missiles that the defendants allegedly used in their failed attack.
While testifying on the stand, Cromitie said the government manipulated Hussain like a puppet, and suggested that the informant was generously compensated by the FBI to bring in the "juiciest tips" possible, regardless of whether they were true.
The defense lawyers called the 100 hours of video from a sting operation a fictional movie produced and directed by the FBI.
Fuller will return to the stand Thursday.
The entire trial is expect to last three to five weeks.
The defendants face life in prison if convicted.