Rochester, N.Y./Greece, N.Y. - For more than 30 years, Muslims have quietly and peacefully practiced their faith in a community nestled in the woods of upstate, 40 miles outside of Binghamton. Monroe County prosecutors say it's that faith that made them a target of four suspects who believed all who practice Islam are "automatically terrorists."
13WHAM News has obtained exclusive new information in the alleged plot to attack Islamberg - broken up last month after Greece Police seized weapons and homemade bombs. Brian Colaneri, Andrew Crysel, Vincent Vetromile and Nicholas Pheilshifter have each been indicted on six felony offensives - all but one related to terrorism.
Court papers filed after the indictment claim there was a plan, each of them had a role and, together, they had taken 22 steps to carry it out.
Using the gaming platform Discord, prosecutors say the four suspects communicated via the channels #militia-soldiers-wanted and #leaders-only over the course of four months beginning in April 2018. According to "Exhibit B" the group had committed nearly two dozen "overt acts" in furtherance of their plan.
The court papers say it was clear how the attack would be carried out, what each individual's role would be, what weapons they would use and how they would acquire or make them.
The alleged role of the youngest defendant, 16-year-old Pheilshifter, was to build the explosive devices. Prosecutors say he had "sketches of bombs." 13WHAM first reported the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia examined the homemade devices and concluded two of them taken from his residence on Milford Street were capable of exploding, and a third could have been with a few more steps. The court papers conclude: "The only thing that stood between the Defendant's creations and mass casualty was a fuse."
On Discord, Pheilshifter used the moniker TREDONTHEM. Brian Colaneri was LORD VALKOR.
Andrew Crysel went by REK. Newly-released details indicate police recovered 10 rifles and ammunition - including loaded magazines - from his home.
Eleven shotguns and rifles, along with loaded magazines, were seized from the home of Vincent Vetromile. Vetromile ran a Youtube channel, rating guns and showing off older collectible firearms. It is unclear whether these are the items referred to in the court documents.
The papers are part of a motion filed by Assistant District Attorney Dan Strollo in an effort to keep Pheilshifter's case in Adolescent Court - which is a criminal court. Because he's 16, under Raise the Age, prosecutors must prove the "extraordinary circumstances" of this case do not support a move to family court.
Strollo argued this was not "youthful indiscretion" or a young man who "simply sketched a bomb." He said the group "..conspired to injure, maim and kill as many members of Islamberg as possible because of their beliefs."