Five-hundred supporters from Oneonta, Cooperstown, Hancock and as far as South Carolina and Georgia stood united with the residents of Islamberg this afternoon against about a dozen “American Bikers United Against Jihad.”
The motorcyclists had threatened to harass the Muslim community en masse. But today, only five bikers and five vehicles drove past the Sufi community on a dirt road between Routes 11 and 17 in Delaware County.
Even after it was over, the “American Bikers” website was claiming 74 attended.
ONEONTA – More than 100 wellwishers – from Oneonta, Cooperstown and beyond – almost filled the Unitarian Universalist Society this afternoon to offer solidarity to Muslims from Islamberg, Delaware County, where bikers from Tennessee are threatening mayhem on May 15.
“Never again,” said Nathan Battalion, an Oneontan who lost family members in the Holocaust. “We can never allow this to happen again on our planet.”
Battalion spoke near the end of an applause-punctuated session organized by Regina Betts and Lee Fisher of the NAACP, Oneonta chapter, after the news surfaced that a motorcycle gang from Tennessee is threatening a militia attack on Islamberg, a community of Moslems that has been living at peace with their neighbors near Hancock, Delaware County, for years.
Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of www.AllOTSEGO.com (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), tells WAMC’s David Guistina on today’s “Morning Headlines” segment how Oneontans rallied to Islamberg’s support at a NAACP rally on Sunday.
A group of high school students at Odyssey Academy in Greece, near Rochester, tipped off police that one of their classmates was allegedly part of a plot to bomb Islamberg, the small Muslim community in Delaware County.
Officers with the Greece Police Department Saturday arrested Brian F. Colaneri, 20, and Vincent Vetromile, 19, both of Greece, and Andrew C. Crysel, 18, of East Rochester, as well as a 16-year-old student at Odyssey Academy after the tip, allegedly finding three improvised explosive devices, packed with nails and powder, at the home the 16-year-old suspect.
Police additionally found 23 firearms — a combination of shotguns and rifles — across the suspects’ residences.
ISLAMBERG – The Muslims of America, Inc., this morning issued a statement expressing “our sincere gratitude to God Almighty” for his protection after the arrests of four young men in a Rochester suburb for allegedly planning to bomb this Muslim community in Delaware County.
ISLAMBERG – About a dozen “American Bikers United Against Jihad” from Tennessee – not the 70-some feared – showed up at this Sunni enclave in Delaware County early this afternoon in a display that last a few seconds.
After the five motorcycles and seven accompanying car passed along a dirt road between Route 11 and 17 near Hancock, the community invited in 500 supporters – many from Oneonta and Cooperstown – for a celebration, lunch and speechifying.