Questions and answers on alleged plot to attack Fort Dix


Richard Moore

Original source URL:,0,5836225,print.story

Questions and answers on alleged plot to attack Fort Dix

Associated Press Writer

May 8, 2007, 8:07 PM EDT

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Federal authorities announced Tuesday that they had foiled a 
plot to attack military personnel at Fort Dix. Six men were charged with 
planning to kill as many soldiers as they could.

Here are some questions and answers regarding the alleged plot and 
investigation, according to state and federal authorities:

Q: Who are the suspects?

A: They are men in their 20s. All are Muslims born outside the United States and
four are ethnic Albanian. Five live in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia. One 
is a U.S. citizen, two are legal residents and three are in the country 
illegally. They have had jobs installing roofs, working as clerks at stores and 
driving taxis. Some of the men have wives and children.

Q: How long were authorities monitoring the actions of these suspects?

A: They began investigating the men after a clerk at a Mount Laurel video store 
tipped off local police in January 2006. The clerk said one of the men had asked
him to transfer a video to DVD. In a court filing, authorities said the tape 
showed 10 men shooting weapons at a firing range, calling for jihad and shouting
"Allah Akbar," or Arabic for "God is Great."

Q: How could the men buy weapons?

A: Authorities said the men had some semiautomatic weapons and were trying to 
buy fully automatic rifles on the black market. The money would come from their 
jobs, said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

Q: What kind of training did they do, and where?

A: One of the suspects, Agron Abdullahu, had been a sniper in Kosovo. All of 
them gathered in a rented vacation house in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern
Pennsylvania last December to train with paintball guns and real weapons and 
knew how to use them, Christie said.

Q: Were these men linked to al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden?

A: No, officials say. But they did appear to consider themselves to be part of 
an international jihadist movement and watched videos of al-Qaida terrorists and
bin Laden.

Q: How did the government get informants into this group? What sort of 
information did they provide?

A: The FBI turned to paid informants who had been helpful in other 
investigations. One infiltrated the suspects' group by becoming friendly with 
one of them. The other, according to a legal filing, was approached by the 
suspects. Both made numerous tapes to the suspects.

Q: When and how did they arrest these men?

A: The men were arrested at different places Monday night. Two were grabbed at a
meeting that some of the suspects believed would be with someone who would sell 
them M-16 and AK-47 automatic rifles. That person, though, was a government 
informant. Others were picked up elsewhere in New Jersey and Philadelphia, all 
without a fight.

Q: Why did they target Fort Dix?

A: One of the suspects, Serdar Tatar, had delivered pizza on the base and said 
he knew it like the back of his hand, Christie said.

Q: How did they intend to attack Fort Dix?

A: The post has had especially tight security since the Sept. 11, 2001, 
terrorist attacks. Christie would not say how the men intended to get access to 
the installation, but he said they had a detailed plan that included cutting off
the electricity, then using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

Q: When were they going to attack?

A: That's not clear. But Christie said they thought the automatic weapons they 
wanted to buy would be "the final piece of their plan."

Q: Did they plan to attack anywhere else?

A: They had looked into other targets, including Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 
New Jersey; Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and a Coast Guard building in 

Q: What charges do the men face?

A: Five face charges of conspiring to kill military personnel, an offense that 
carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The remaining one _ and three 
others _ face weapons charges punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Q: Where will they be tried?

A: The charges were filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey _ and that's 
where it appears it will remain.

Q: What happens next?

A: The men, most of whom appear likely to have court-appointed lawyers, are due 
in court again Friday so a judge can decide whether to set bail _ and if so, how
much. They'll remain in federal custody until the hearing.

Q: And after that?

A: It usually takes several months, if not years, before major cases are tried. 
It's possible the charges could be dismissed or they could plead guilty before a

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

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