They had planned to ambush a military facility with automatic weapons. They weighed Fort Monmouth Army Base and Dover Airforce Base before settling on Fort Dix, where one of the suspects allegedly had access as a pizza delivery guy.
It began when a man walked into a photo shop and asked to convert a tape to a DVD, two law enforcement officials said.
The tape contained scenes of men conducting weapons training in anisolated area of the Pocono Mountains in New Jersey, using handguns andrifles and firing live ammo, senior law enforcement officials said.
It was intended for training purposes and to recruit more members to the group's cause, according to those officials.
The technician making the dub from tape to DVD saw the contentand notified authorities. The case was passed from regionalcounterterror officials in New Jersey to the Philadelphia FBI JointTerrorist Task Force.
Attacking a military installation instead of a civilian target seems odd for terrorist operations, doesn't it? Wonder if they're independent operators or part of a group. No one has claimed it yet.
Reports say the suspects are radicals from former Yugoslavia, Jordan, and Turkey. Three are illegal aliens. The border-as-security-issue topic will get a lot of attention this week from the second-tier Republican candidates who will bash the front-runners' "comprehensive" plans, and from pundits who want to push the Republican front-runners into harder-core stances. I'm interested to hear the front-runners' discussions of how comprehensive plans are well-suited to deal with these kinds of threats. I'm not being snippy. The week oughtta be an interesting discussion.
The Dukas, believed to be Islamic radicals, are in theUnited States illegally, while Shnewer is a U.S. citizen born inJordan, according to the Justice Department.
The suspects, identified as Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka,Mohamad Shnewer, Derdar Tatar and Agron Abdullahu, have been chargedwith conspiring to kill U.S. government employees. Separately, the Dukabrothers have been charged with being illegal aliens in possession offirearms.
Tony Snow's claiming no evidence of ties to international terrorist groups:
"They are not charged with being members of an international terrorismorganization," Snow said. "At least at this point, there is no evidencethat they received direction from international terror organizations."But they were, indeed, inspired by al Qaeda:
The would-be attackers, ethnic Albanians who had been undersurveillance by the FBI for months, practiced by shooting paintballguns and real weapons in a rural area of the Poconos, one source said.They also allegedly watched jihadist videos in which Osama bin Ladenurged them toward martyrdom.
"They were prepared to die," said the law enforcement source. "Webecame increasingly convinced this was for real and these guys wereready to roll."
Also, Confederate Yankee gives the plot a name: "I formally move that we call this the "Duka, Duka, Mohammed Jihad."
They wanted to kill 100 soldiers. Thank goodness for the video store employee who reported them and two brave informants who infiltrated the group:
"I don't want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit anAmerican base very easily," one of the men told an informant, accordingto a recounting of the conversation provided in the court documents."You take a map and draw it, and then you calculate that there areareas where there are 100 to 200 individuals and you should allocatesix to seven persons for this alone."In addition to viewing videos andfootage of men shooting weapons and shouting Islamic slogans, membersof the group conducted surveillance of several potential militarytargets; obtained semi-automatic weapons they could use in an attackand rented a house in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania to train ata nearby shooting range, the charging documents show.
Also, thank goodness the NYT didn't see fit to write about exactly how the FBI places informants in suspected militant Islamic organizations, you know, during the investigation. You know, for the public good and all.
Allah is, of course, updating all day. Check with him for the very latest, as he's the fastest on the 'Net.
Michelle Malkin notes that many ethnic Albanians made their homes near Fort Dix after they were welcomed there as refugees from Kosovo. Gives lie to the idea that we provoke our attacks...we provoke them, all right, with the imperialistic indignity of three hots and a cot for the downtrodden. Gotta love the gratitude from this little group.
Update: Here's the run-down on the Fort Dix Army installation:
Fort Dix consists of 31,065 acres of land, of which 13,765 acres are range and impact areas and 14,000 are cIassified as contiguous maneuver area. The remainder of the installation is the cantonment area. Fort Dix training areas are bordered by the Lebanon State Forest (26,000 acres), Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Center (2,100 acres) and selected Wildlife Management Areas (34,900 acres) which enable this installation to simultaneously support combat, combat support, and combat service support training.