NEW YORK - Four Muslim men were arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to detonate a bomb outside a Jewish temple and to shoot military planes with guided missiles. Officials said the arrests came after a long-running undercover operation that began in Newburgh, about 70 miles north of New York City. The four US-born suspects - identified as James Cromitie, also known as Abdul Rahman; David Williams, also known as Daoud or simply DL; Onta Williams, also known as Hamza; and Laguerre Payen, also known as Amin and Almondo - had been tracked for over a year, officials said. Some of the men were of Arabic descent, and one is of Haitian descent, according to law enforcement officials. They were arrested after buying an inactive missile and inert explosives in a sting operation run by the FBI and other agencies, the complaint said. The men had planned to detonate a car with plastic explosives outside a temple in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, and to shoot military planes at the NY Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, authorities said. The men, all of whom live in Newburgh were arrested after planting what they believed to be bombs in cars outside the Temple and the nearby Jewish Centre, officials said. But the men did not know the bombs, obtained with the help of an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were fake. Each man is charged with one count of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, and one count of conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, which also carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. This latest attempt to attack our freedoms shows that the homeland security threats against New York City are sadly all too real and underscores why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent terrorism, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. Cromitie, whose parents had lived in Afghanistan before his birth, had told the informant that he was upset about the number of Muslims being killed in the war there and in Pakistan by American forces, the complaint said. He said that he wanted to do something to America. Cromitie stated the best target - the World Trade Center - was hit already, according to the complaint. Cromitie said if he died a martyr, he would go to paradise, the complaint said. Last July, he told the informant he wanted to join Jaish-e-Mohammed, a banned Pakistan-based group Washington designates as a terrorist organisation, to do jihad, according to the complaint. Meanwhile, a prominent national Islamic civil rights group issued a statement praising law enforcers for their efforts in helping to prevent any harm to either Jewish institutions or to our nations military. AFP adds: Three Americans accused in plot to blow up New York synagogues and destroy a US military plane were described in court Thursday as fanatics eager to bring death to Jews. These are extremely violent men, Prosecutor Eric Snyder said after the cuffed and chained suspects were brought into court in White Plains, New York state. These are people eager to bring death to Jews. Judge Lisa Smith ordered the three detained pending a preliminary hearing set for June 5. A fourth man, Laguerre Payen, was injured during the arrest when police broke the windows of his vehicle, his lawyer said, and he was expected to appear in court after hospital treatment.