- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2007

Six terrorism suspects accused of plotting to kill U.S. soldiers at the Army base at Fort Dix, N.J., are expected to be arraigned this week in federal court in Camden, N.J.

Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 22; Dritan Duka, 28; Shain Duka, 26; Eljvir Duka, 23; and Serdar Tatar, 23, are accused in a federal grand jury indictment of conspiring to kill and attempt to kill “as many soldiers at the Army base as possible.”

Agron Abdullahu, 24, was indicted separately on charges of aiding and abetting the group’s illegal possession of firearms.

U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie in Newark said the men conspired to kill soldiers, sailors and airmen during paramilitary attacks at Fort Dix, the Lakehurst Naval Air Station and the Fort Monmouth Army Base, all in New Jersey, the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and the U.S. Coast Guard Base in Pennsylvania.

“We intend to continue a vigorous prosecution of these defendants,” Mr. Christie said. “Anyone who would plan such an attack should expect no less.”

The indictment said Shnewer, Tatar and the Duka brothers were inspired by, among others, the al Qaeda terrorist network. It said they acquired, distributed and viewed DVDs and videos depicting violent attacks on U.S. military personnel and espoused jihadist propaganda against the U.S. government.

It said they acquired weapons, including handguns, shotguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; engaged in firearms training in Gouldsboro, Pa.; and took part in tactical training in New Jersey and Pennsylvania using, among other things, paint-ball guns.

According to the indictment, the men attempted to acquire three fully automatic AK-47 Kalashnikov machine guns and four M-16 assault rifles.

The indictment also said that Shnewer conducted surveillance operations at all five targeted military installations and that Tatar acquired a map of Fort Dix to plan and coordinate an attack at the facility. It said the men used various methods to conceal the conspiracy and the identities of their co-conspirators to avoid detection by law-enforcement officials.

The six, identified by authorities as “radical Islamists,” are being held without bail at a federal detention center in Philadelphia. They were arrested May 7 after a 17-month undercover investigation as they prepared to buy a cache of weapons from an FBI informant.

Court records said Shnewer is a U.S. citizen born in Jordan; Tatar was born in Turkey and is legally residing in the U.S.; and Abdullahu is an ethnic Albanian born in the former Yugoslavia who is legally residing in the U.S. The Duka brothers, according to the records, are ethnic Albanians born in the former Yugoslavia who reside illegally in the U.S. and operate Colonial Roofing and National Roofing.

According to a criminal complaint in the case by FBI agent John J. Ryan, the six traveled several times to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania for firearms training; collected an arsenal of handguns, shotguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; and conducted surveillance on Fort Dix and other area military bases.

The complaint said FBI agents were tipped to the plot in January 2006 when a New Jersey retail clerk reported as “disturbing” a videotape a customer wanted transferred to DVD. It said the tape showed men shooting assault weapons in a militialike fashion while calling for jihad, or holy war.

An investigation was begun by the FBI field office in Philadelphia and the South Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force.