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Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Breaking News with Video:
6 Men arrested for plot to Kill
US soldiers at Fort Dix N.J.

FORT DIX, N.J. — Six Islamic militants from Yugoslavia and the Middle East were arrested on charges of plotting to attack the Fort Dix Army base and "kill as many soldiers as possible," authorities said Tuesday.

"This was a serious plot put together by people who were intent on harming Americans," U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said. "We're very gratified federal law enforcement was able to catch these people before they acted and took innocent life."

If the video fails to play click here:
Fort Dix Combat Training

A 4 minute movie showing a squad combat training at Ft Dix.
Ft Dix was where the Terrorist Attack was targeting

One suspect reportedly spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades to kill at least 100 soldiers at a time, according to court documents.

"If you want to do anything here, there is Fort Dix and I don't want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit an American base very easily," suspect Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer said in a conversation last August that was secretly recorded by a government informant, according to the criminal complaint against him.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday there is "no direct evidence" that the men have ties to international terrorism.

In court documents, prosecutors said the suspects came to the attention of authorities in January 2006 when a shopkeeper alerted the FBI about a "disturbing" video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD.

The video showed 10 men in their early 20s "shooting assault weapons at a firing range ... while calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic 'Allah Akbar' (God is great)," the complaint said. Six of the 10 were identified as those arrested in the plot.

"What concerns us is, obviously, they began conducting surveillance and weapons training in the woods and were discussing killing large numbers of soldiers," Boyd said.

Christie said one of the suspects worked at Super Mario's Pizza in nearby Cookstown and delivered pizzas to the base, using that opportunity to scout out a possible attack.

The six were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Camden later Tuesday to face charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. servicemen, said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey. They were arrested Monday trying to buy automatic weapons from an FBI informant.

Officials said four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one in Jordan and one in Turkey. All had lived in the United States for years. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in this country permanently; the other is a U.S. citizen.

Besides Shnewer, the other five men were identified in court papers as Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, Serdar Tatar and Agron Abdullahu. Checks with Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka and Shain Duka are illegally living in the United States, according to FBI complaints unsealed with their arrests.

Five of the men lived in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb about 20 miles from Fort Dix.

"They were planning an attack on Fort Dix in which they would kill as many soldiers as possible," Drewniak said.

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because documents in the case remain sealed, said the attack was stopped in the planning stages. The men also allegedly conducted surveillance at other area military institutions, including Fort Monmouth, a U.S. Army installation, the official said.

By March 2006, the group had been infiltrated by an informant who developed a relationship with Shnewer, according to court documents. The informant secretly recorded meetings in August 2006 in which Shnewer said that he and the other suspects were part of a group planning to attack a U.S. military base, the complaints said.

Shnewer named Fort Dix and a nearby Navy base, explaining that the group "could utilize six or seven jihadists to attack and kill at least one hundred soldiers by using rocket-propelled grenades" or other weapons, the complaint said. The Navy base was not named in the complaint.

Fort Dix is used to train soldiers, particularly reservists. It also housed refugees from Kosovo in 1999.

Soldiers at Fort Dix have been training for warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Jeff Sagnip, a spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. James Saxton, who represents Fort Dix. The base typically has about 15,000 people, including 3,000 soldiers.

"Everything is a replica of what they would face in the field," he said.

The base has been closed to the public since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. There are heavily armed guards at entrances, along with X-ray machines. Yet the main road through neighboring Cookstown cuts through the base and is accessible to the public. A half-dozen locations on the base, including at least two where soldiers were conducting maneuvers Tuesday morning, were only a few hundred yards off the main road.

The description of the suspects as "Islamic militants" renewed fears in New Jersey's Muslim community. Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained by authorities in the months following the 2001 attacks, but none was connected to that plot.

"If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented many of the detainees. "But when the government says 'Islamic militants,' it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous.

"Don't equate actions with religion," he said.

BB: Nah we wouldn't do that Sohail, every one knows Islam is the Religion of Pieces.
This is a breaking story, it will be updated as more information comes to hand.

Chron.com: 6 charged with plot on Army post in N.J.

1 Comment:

tikkunger said...

Yes I heard about this on the radio this morning pretty scary stuff. Anyhow at least they caught them before anything could be done.

It's easy for me to take shots at stuff such as Homeland Security but something like this just shows how times are indeed dangerous and measures do need to be taken. Basically it helps to remind me that despite my concerns with what the government is doing. They are indeed doing some good.

Anyhow, hope all is well down south.