[Marxism] New Jersey Men Convicted of Plot to Attack Fort Dix
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Mon Dec 22 20:55:28 MST 2008
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(Dec 22, 2008)
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Five young Muslim males from South Jersey have now officially become the latest inductees to grace America’s growing political imprisonment population, courtesy of the much heralded “war on terrorism,” and the culture of fear that has been carefully cultivated by a host of political opportunists in its wake.
Earlier today, Mohamad Shnewer, Dritan Duka, Shain Duka, Eljvir Duka and Serdar Tatar were found guilty of conspiracy and weapons charges at a federal courthouse in Camden, NJ. Despite being found innocent of attempted murder charges, all five (ages 23 to 30) face the possibility of LIFE IMPRISONMENT when sentenced!
The government claims that the young men - with the assistance and encouragement of a couple of government paid informants (aka, agent-provocateurs) formed a “terror cell” with the intent of attacking the military base at Ft. Dix, NJ.
Reportedly, the five young Muslims were arrested in May 2007, after a 15 month probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded they had scouted military installations, negotiated (thru the provocateurs) to buy high powered weaponry, repeatedly watched videos of al-Qaeda attacks and beheadings, and “shared radical religious beliefs.”
While this case echoes the NYPD’s so-called anti-terrorism initiative, which (following the federal government’s Post 9/11 model) emphasizes aggressive and sometimes highly questionable preemption, it also reminds this writer of the “Paintball Case” that unfolded in Northern Virginia a few years ago; yet another alleged “conspiracy” case that savagely ripped apart the lives of a number of young Muslim males.
Today’s unfortunate criminal convictions in New Jersey should serve as another wake up call for Muslim leaders, advocacy organizations, and concerned citizens throughout this troubled land. It comes on the heels of the outrageous convictions in another case involving Muslims (in Dallas, Texas); the case of the now defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
The Muslim brothers in the HLF case (all middle-aged husbands and fathers) were convicted of coming to the aid (providing desperately needed HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE) to the suffering people of Occupied Palestine! (Yes. In the Orwellian world in which we now live, this does apparently constitute a “crime.”)
A mobilization is being planned for Dallas, Texas, on the day of sentencing. Today’s tragedy emanating from another “court of law” - this time in Camden, New Jersey - underscores the far reaching import of this upcoming mobilization.
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
To be continued….
New Jersey Men Convicted of Plot to Attack Fort Dix
By Jef Feeley and Fred Cusick
Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Five men, described by prosecutors as “radical Islamists,” were convicted of conspiring to kill American soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey.
A federal jury in Camden, New Jersey, today found Mohamad Shnewer, Dritan Duka, Shain Duka, Eljvir Duka and Serdar Tatar guilty of conspiracy and weapons charges. Each faces a possible sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors contended the Muslim immigrants ecame friends in high school in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and later formed a domestic terror cell.
Arriving at the verdict was “one of the most difficult things that we have had to do,” the jury, which deliberated more than five days, said in a statement read in court by the judge. “We have not reached our conclusion lightly.”
The men, ages 23 to 30, were acquitted of attempted murder charges. They were arrested in May 2007 after a 15-month probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded they had scouted military installations such as Fort Dix and Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, negotiated to buy M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles, trained for their mission and repeatedly watched videos of al-Qaeda attacks and beheadings.
Prosecutors contended the friends shared radical religious beliefs and sought to punish the U.S. military for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two informants secretly taped meetings where the alleged plot took shape, according to testimony.
Ralph Marra, the acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, said he was “very gratified” by today’s verdict. It showed the defendants “had the intent and had done the preparation to do serious harm” to members of the U.S. military, Marra said at a news conference.
The government learned of the impeding attacks after the group asked a Circuit City Stores Inc. employee to transfer a video of them firing weapons and shouting “Allah Akbar” to a DVD. The phrase is Arabic for “God is great.” The employee tipped off FBI agents about the video.
Prosecutors will be seeking the maximum penalty of life in prison for the conspiracy convictions, Marra said. U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler is scheduled to sentence the men in April. Lawyers for the men said they are considering appeals.
“The most I could say is, I wish the outcome had been different,” Rocco Cipparone Jr., Schnewer’s defense attorney, told reporters after the verdict.
The Duka brothers -- Dritan, 30, Shain, 27, and Eljivir, 25 -- are ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia who operated roofing businesses in Cherry Hill. Shnewer, 23, who was born in Jordan, was a taxi driver in nearby Philadelphia while Tatar, 25, originally from Turkey, worked at a convenience store in the city.
Schnewer’s mother, Faten Schnewer, said “the only reason” the men were convicted was because they are Muslims. “I’m sure 100 percent,” she told reporters. Marra denied that anti-Muslim prejudice played a role. “I can’t accept that,” he said.
Shnewer allegedly told one of the government informants that he targeted Fort Dix, located about 20 miles from the state capital in Trenton, because he wanted “to hit a heavy concentration of soldiers,” according to court filings.
The group trained for the attacks by visiting paintball facilities in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hammer told jurors in closing arguments.
“For others, paintball might be simple recreation,” Hammer said. For members of the group, “it was serious training,” he said.
Defense attorneys dismissed the government’s evidence that the group discussed attacking military facilities as “conversational ramblings” of young men.
“Much of the evidence in this case comes from the fantasy world” of Shnewer and other members of the group, said Michael Huff, an attorney for Dritan Duka.
Cipparone targeted government informant Mahmoud Omar, a convicted felon paid almost $240,000 by the FBI to infiltrate the group, as the instigator of the men’s jihadist leanings.
Omar “pushed and pushed” Shnewer to make incriminating comments about attacking U.S. bases, Cipparone told jurors. Still, “Omar the manipulator” wasn’t able to get Shnewer or the others to carry out the attacks, he said.
The case is USA v. Dritan Duka, 07-m-2046, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Camden).
To contact the reporters on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware, at jfeeley at bloomberg.net; Fred Cusick in Camden, New Jersey, at fqsick at aol.com.
Last Updated: December 22, 2008 15:36 EST
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