Six Arrested in Fort Dix Terror Plot
Posted: May 31, 2007
Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested on May 7, 2007 for conspiring to kill U.S. servicemen at New Jersey's Fort Dix Army Base. The terror plan, which was disrupted when the FBI infiltrated the cell, is detailed in an FBI affidavit that was filed in U.S. District Court of New Jersey.
The FBI began investigating the cell in January 2007, following a tip from a video store employee. A customer had brought in a video for duplication which showed the suspects shooting assault weapons at a firing range in the Poconos while calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic 'Allah Akbar' ('God is Great'). Within six months, the Bureau had placed two informants within the terror cell, and both recorded meetings and phone conversations with the plotters.
One of the defendants – who allegedly obtained a map of the military base – was familiar with Fort Dix because his family owns a pizzeria nearby and he had delivered food there.
The six men arrested had no apparent links to a foreign terrorist organization but were influenced by the ideology of Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, according to authorities. Members of the group reportedly often viewed videos of bin Laden and of terror training or of actual attacks on U.S. military personnel, and evidently took pleasure in watching footage of badly injured U.S. Marines, according to the affidavit. They also expressed willingness to kill and die "in the name of Allah."
In addition to their planned attack on Fort Dix, the group allegedly conducted surveillance on other military installations – including the Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and a Coast Guard building in Philadelphia – and considered an attack at the annual Army-Navy college football game in Philadelphia.
The suspects are: Dritan Duka, Shain Duka, Eljvir Duka and Agron Abdullahu, ethnic Albanians from Macedonia who were in the U.S. illegally and resided in New Jersey; Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Jordan, also a resident of New Jersey; and Serdar Tartar, a legal U.S. resident from Turkey living in Philadelphia. All of the suspects, except Abdullahu – who was charged with aiding illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons – were charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel.