Six men from New Jersey were arrested yesterday on terrorism charges. They were plotting to infiltrate Fort Dix for the purpose of killing as many soldiers as possible. From WNBC.com:
Investigators said the men planned to use automatic rifles to enter Fort Dix and kill as many soldiers as they could at the N.J. base. Fort Dix was just one of several military and security locations allegedly scouted by this group, authorities said.
Investigators told Newschannel 4’s Jonathan Dienst that these arrests are the result of a tip to the FBI and use of an informant to track the suspects. Authorities were alerted in January 2006 after the terror suspects traveled to the Pocono’s for a training exercise where they practiced firing automatic weapons, investigators said.
Sources have told Newschannel 4’s Brian Thompson that the suspects tried to have a their training video tape converted to DVD at a store in Cherry Hill, N.J., but the store owner alerted authorities.
They’re certainly not the brightest terrorists in the world.
Authorities then inserted a cooperating witness into the alleged terror cell to be a go between in their attempt to purchase M16 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles. Arrests were made Monday night after the informant delivered dummy weapons paid for bhttp://www.wnbc.com/news/13274813/detail.html?dl=mainclick
FBI Arrests Six In Alleged Terror Plot Against N.J. Soldiers – News Story – WNBC | New Yorky the alleged terror cell suspects.
Investigators said the group discussed targeting numerous locations like Dover Air base, Fort Monmouth, a Coast Guard building in Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Federal building before deciding on Fort Dix as their intended target. Fort Dix is run in part by the Army and is a reserve-training center, but active units take part in training, including some which focuses on counter-terrorism.
Sources tell Newschannel 4’s Brian Thompson that the family of one of the suspects owns a pizzeria near Fort Dix and claimed to know the base “like the back of his hand.” The same suspect told the alleged terror group it would be easy to penetrate to “get the most soldiers killed.”
Investigators said the group of suspects have been discussing and planning for much of the last year. They allegedly pooled their savings to pay for the operation targeted at soldiers stationed here at home.
The men’s religion was buried until the ninth paragraph:
The six suspects arrested Monday night will face terror conspiracy charges. Three of the men are brothers, all believed to be Islamic radicals. Authorities have told Newschannel 4 that some of the men were born in Albania and the former Yugoslavia. Investigators said most of the suspects have spent several years here in the U.S.
The Star Ledger says the suspects were influenced by Osama Bin Laden:
They had been under FBI surveillance for months, practiced by shooting paintball guns and real weapons in a rural area of the Poconos, one source said. They also allegedly watched jihadist videos in which Osama bin Laden urged them toward martyrdom.
Update: The terrorists appeared to have been influenced by Bin Laden but were not a part of al Qaeda. From CBS News:
At the time of the arrests, the plot was in the planning stages and no attack was imminent, CBS News has learned. Officials said this is more of a “homegrown” plot with no ties to al Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization, CBS News reports.
A law enforcement official said that the men had lived in the United States for some time and were arrested as part of a joint federal and local investigation.
Update II: The Smoking Gun has a copy of the FBI Affidavit that was filed in court today. These guys weren’t just talking. They had very serious intentions. One guy said he didn’t care if he got caught and sent to prison or was killed. He was going to kill as many soldiers as possible “in the name of Allah.”