Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Plotting Against Fort Dix: UPDATES BELOW

A group of six former Yugoslavian nationals were arrested in relation to a plot to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey.
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.

Five of them lived in Cherry Hill, about 10 miles east of Philadelphia and 20 miles southwest of Fort Dix, he 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 were arrested while trying to buy automatic weapons in a sale set-up by law enforcement authorities, the official said. Authorities believe the men trained for the attack in the Poconos and allegedly conducted surveillance at other area military institutions, including the Army's Fort Monmouth, the official said.

The official said that the men had lived in the United States for some time and were arrested as part of a joint federal and local investigation.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported on its Web site that the men had agreed to buy AK-47 assault rifles from an arms dealer who was secretly cooperating with the FBI. It cited a law enforcement person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak about the arrests.
The men wanted to kill as many soldiers as possible. Fort Dix is a major training facility for the US Army.

One gets the feeling the nationality of those six men will be less important than their religious affiliation - though this is just my theory for now. The former Yugoslavia was broken up and sectarian strife resulted in violence between Christians and Muslims.

Well, it's more than a theory. At least three of the six were Islamists.
Sources tell Newschannel 4's Brian Thompson that the family of one of the suspects owns a pizzeria near Fort Dix and claimed to know the base "like the back of his hand." The same suspect told the alleged terror group it would be easy to penetrate to "get the most soldiers killed."

Investigators said the group of suspects have been discussing and planning for much of the last year. They allegedly pooled their savings to pay for the operation targeted at soldiers stationed here at home.

The six suspects arrested Monday night will face terror conspiracy charges. Three of the men are brothers, all believed to be Islamic radicals. Authorities have told Newschannel 4 that some of the men were born in Albania and the former Yugoslavia. Investigators said most of the suspects have spent several years here in the U.S.

Some of the group's alleged planning was caught on videotape, investigators said. On the videotape there is significant discussion of Martyrdom.

"Who is going to take care of my wife and kids," one suspect asks. Another responds, "Allah will take care of your wife and kids." The alleged terror cell is described by investigators as disciples of Osama Bin Laden. Among the evidence seized was the downloaded will and testament of two Sept. 11 hijackers.
Hot Air has running updates. There will be a presser at 2:30PM EDT.

Michelle Malkin has more details, including the identities of those involved (emphasis added).
Dritan Duka (illegal alien)
Eliver Duka (illegal alien)
Shain Duka (illegal alien)
Serdar Tatar (the pizza deliverer...his family owns a pizzeria near Ft. Dix)
Mohamad Shnewer
Agron Abdullahu
It also appears that it wasn't just an attack on Fort Dix, but other installations along the East Coast:
Carolee Nisbet, a public information officer at Fort Dix, said: "I understand that they weren’t just targeting Fort Dix, that it was a multiple-base plan to attack several bases in the Northeast.” She declined to elaborate. At the base this morning, Nisbet said: “They are going to make the security procedures more stringent, but we’re not going to increase the threat level. We are just going to make people more aware of their surroundings.
This begs the question of whether the six were the only members involved in this plot or whether are others still at large who were involved in the plot.

The six were able to scout out areas at the base because they were pizza delivery workers.
The FBI was tipped off to the group in early 2006 after someone brought a video to a store to be copied onto DVD, according to the agency's criminal complaint. The video showed 10 men, including the six arrested, shooting assault weapons in militia style and calling for jihad, the complaint said.

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

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie told him one of the suspects had a job delivering pizzas to the base and used that opportunity to scout out the possible attack.

Smith said the men had been under surveillance for 16 months and practiced their attacks in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. He said they also watched Osama bin Laden videos.
Since only six were arrested, that means law enforcement better have a nice chat with the other four peope in the video. They may also have a role in the plot.

Fort Monmouth was also the focus of the group's surveillance. That base is home to the Army's Communications and Electronics Command and a technology center. It is also scheduled to close under the latest BRAC in 2011.

The affadavit for the arrest of the six is up at the Smoking Gun. The affidavit makes it clear that the six were engaged in jihad and were seeking to commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam.

Jammie has a posting detailing the unhinged nature of the HuffPo crew. The fact is that terrorists are trying to kill Americans around the world and if they attack a US military base inside the US, think of the propaganda spewage as a result.

It wouldn't matter if the attack was successful or not.

The fact that terrorists would try to launch such an attack would send a variety of signals, not the least of which would be - hey the WoT is failing and we're able to hit you anywhere and everywhere.

It would be a recruitment bonus for terrorist groups, like al Qaeda that would quickly rush to take credit for the attack.

As for why they would bother to target Fort Dix, it's simply an attempt to do something spectacular. Why bother with the small fry when you can go for the dough. They've got the means, the opportunity, and the ideological bent to carry out an attack, even if it meant they'd all be killed in the process.

The complaint against the six has been released. Among the criminal acts alleged: violation of 18 USC 1117, which relates to the defendants obtaining firearms and 18 USC 922(g)(5), relating to illegal aliens possessing firearms.

Also of note is item #23, which stated that the plotters were seeing a fatwa to condone their terrorist agenda. These six were intent upon killing in the name of Islam, and it permeated everything they were doing in furtherance of this plot.

The plotters also considered other targets, including the annual Army-Navy football game that is held in Philadelphia.

Here's the timeline of events thus far.

The Star Ledger's blog picked up my initial comments before reports indicated that the six were indeed Islamists plotting jihad in the name of Islam. The Star Ledger also has a rundown of other media reporting.

Even as Jammie posts on the disconnect between the Left and the terrorism arrests made today, one needs only to review recent history to know that terrorism and New Jersey have gone hand in hand. 1993 WTC bombers lived in New Jersey and prayed at a Jersey City mosque. That mosque also spawned a later attempt to destroy NYC area landmarks. The 9/11 attacks included Flight 93, which departed from Newark Airport, and whose members stayed in New Jersey at a hotel in Wayne. Six others involved in the 9/11 attacks lived in Paterson, New Jersey.

The more recent plot to flood the WTC bathtub by destroying the PATH tunnels leading from New Jersey was broken last year.

New Jersey is centrally located to New York City, Philadelphia, and a short trip to Washington, DC. There is a large Muslim population living in Paterson and Jersey City, and the concern is that there are quite a few radicals in the community that are preaching jihad. The history of this particular community bears out that fear.

This subject is generating quite a bit of commentary and punditry. Others blogging: Jules Crittenden, The Donovan, Patterico, AJ Strata, Michelle Malkin, Dan Riehl, Sister Toldjah, Ed Driscoll.

Still others blogging: Flopping Aces, Outside the Beltway, Blue Crab Boulevard, Ed Morrissey, Counterterrorism Blog, and LaShawn Barber.

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