'Stupidest man on the planet', says sister of James Cromitie, alleged would-be Bronx terrorist
BY Matthew Lysiak, Chloe Rosenberg and Corky Siemaszko | DAILY NEWS WRITERS | May 23, 2009
The four fools who conspired to blow up two Bronx synagogues in the name of Allah were booze-swilling losers who hung out at a Roman Catholic community center in upstate Newburgh.
"Amateurs," Bloomberg said Friday. "That doesn't mean they couldn't have killed a lot of people. But they were not part of a professional worldwide terrorist ring."
The alleged ringleader was 44-year-old James Cromitie, a career crook from the Bronx who converted to Islam while in jail.
His big sister, Wanda Walker, called him "the stupidest man on the planet."
"I'm still waiting for the punchline," Walker, 45, said yesterday. "This is a like a joke to me. I'm waiting for the camera to come out of the closet and say, 'This is Candid Camera.'"
His cohorts are David Williams, 28, a former chef who also did time for drug dealing; Onta Williams, 32; and Haitian immigrant Lagueere Payen, deemed too insane to be deported after an assault conviction.
Both Williamses spent a lot of time hanging around on Cromitie's porch in Newburgh. Neighbors said they routinely barbecued and boozed it up even though devout Muslims shun alcohol and pork.
Another haunt for the gang: the Newburgh Ministry, a Catholic shelter open to people of all faiths.
"Those four would come into our ministry and sit down and drink coffee on a regular basis," said a source.
"They never caused trouble. They just sat and drank their coffee and talked. Maybe they were plotting?"With Celeste Katz