- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A member of a gang of Islamists accused of planning to attack Fort Dix and kill “as many American soldiers as possible” told an FBI undercover informant he suspected the man was a federal agent but didn’t care because he wanted to kill anyway “in the name of Allah,” according to court papers.

In a Nov. 28 conversation recorded by the paid informant known only as CW-1, Serdar Tatar, 23, of Philadelphia, said, “You know one thing that’s scary, too? … I don’t know you that much. … You know. I don’t know whether you’re FBI … or the, an agent, I don’t know.

“I’m gonna do it. Whether you are or not. I’m gonna do it. Know why? … It doesn’t matter to me, whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away, it doesn’t matter. Or I die, doesn’t matter. I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”

Two weeks earlier, according to an FBI criminal complaint, Tatar had attempted to find out whether the informant was a law-enforcement officer by contacting a sergeant at the Philadelphia Police Department, saying he had been approached by a man who pressured him to acquire maps of Fort Dix. He told the sergeant he did not supply the map and was fearful the incident was terrorist-related.

The complaint, by FBI Agent John J. Ryan, said the sergeant called the FBI in Tatar’s presence and agents later were dispatched to interview Tatar. It said he told the agents he was not a part of the plot to attack Fort Dix and did not know of anyone who might be involved.

By that time, Tatar and five others had been under surveillance by the FBI for more than 10 months in a suspected scheme to “knowingly and willfully” kill soldiers at Fort Dix in an armed attack with AK-47 fully-automatic machine guns, M-16 assault rifles, grenade launchers and handguns.

Their plot was foiled by a clerk at the Circuit City store in Mount Laurel, N.J., who had been asked to copy to DVD a video of the men test-firing weapons in the Pocono Mountains and calling for jihad, or holy war. The unidentified clerk called authorities.

“If we didn’t get that tip,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in New Jersey, “I couldn’t be sure what would happen.”

Tatar, born in Turkey and a legal U.S. resident, was arrested Monday night, along with Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 22, of Cherry Hill, N.J., a U.S. citizen born in Jordan. The other four suspects, also arrested Monday, are ethnic Albanians born in the former Yugoslavia — Agron Abdullahu, 24, of Buena Vista, N.J.; and three brothers, Eljvir Duka, 23, Dritan Duka, 28, and Shain Duka, 26, all of Cherry Hill and in the U.S. illegally.

They are scheduled for a court hearing tomorrow. Five were charged Tuesday with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel; the sixth, Abdullahu, was charged with weapons violations.

CW-1 successfully infiltrated the group in March 2006 by developing a relationship with Shnewer, according to the complaint. It said he was able to secretly record numerous conversations during meetings and telephone calls, including comments on Aug. 1 by Shnewer describing the planned attack and saying “six or seven jihadists” could kill “at least 100 soldiers by using rocket-propelled grenades or other weapons.”

“If you want to do anything here, there is Fort Dix and I don’t want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit an American base very easily,” Shnewer was recorded as saying.

The complaint also noted that in January, two of the Duka brothers “unexpectedly encountered” an undercover FBI agent who had been a member of the surveillance team in the Poconos when members of the group were test-firing their weapons. It said the brothers “immediately recognized” the agent and engaged him in a conversation.

According to the complaint, Eljvir Duka asked the agent if he knew where he and his brother, Dritan, could purchase AK-47 and M-16 firearms, adding that they “wanted to buy the Russian version of the AK-47 instead of the cheaper Chinese version because of its durability and its capability of being buried in dirt and sand.”

The complaint said the agent asked the brothers to identify the weapons they were now using in the Poconos, which they need.

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