Note how cannily Tatar tried to play both sides of the street, telling a Philadelphia Police Sergeant “that he had been approached by an individual who asked him to provide maps of Fort Dix and that he thought the incident was terrorist-related.” This was just to try to find out if that individual was an FBI informant (as indeed he was). Did the Sergeant (or his superiors) think that the Department had found a good moderate Muslim to work with?
“Timeline of events in Fort Dix attack plot,” from Newsday:
A timeline of events leading up to the arrest Monday night of six Islamic militants who allegedly planned to attack Fort Dix:
_ Jan. 31, 2006: A shopkeeper alerted the FBI about a “disturbing” video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD. The video showed 10 young men in their early 20s shooting assault weapons at a firing range earlier that month. The group called for jihad (a holy war) and shouted in Arabic ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is great).
_ March: An FBI informant infiltrated the group by developing a relationship with Mohamad Shnewer.
_ May 26: Shnewer told the informant to look at particular DVD files on his laptop. One file contained what appeared to be the last will and testament of at least two of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; another contained images of Osama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists calling on the viewer to join the jihadist movement.
_ July 7: A second informant was approached by six men, one of whom, later identified as Eljvir Duka, invited the informant to his home.
_ July 29: In a meeting recorded by the second informant, Shnewer showed several videos on his laptop computer that depicted armed attacks on U.S. military personnel.
_ Aug. 1, 2 and 5: Shnewer told the first informant that he, Serdar Tatar, Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka and others were planning to attack a U.S. military base, and Shnewer specifically named Fort Dix, explaining that they could kill at least 100 soldiers by using rocket-propelled grenades.
_ Aug. 5: Shnewer told the first informant they need to conduct surveillance of military bases to decide which one to attack.
_ Aug. 11: Shnewer and the first informant traveled to Fort Dix to conduct surveillance. During the trip, Shnewer told the informant the plan was to “hit four, five, six Humvees and light the whole place (up) and retreat completely without any losses.” The two also drove to Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Law enforcement officers also observed Shnewer drive by himself to Fort Monmouth later that day.
_ Nov. 12: Tatar told the first informant he would acquire a map of Fort Dix from his father’s restaurant and described an area of the post which they could attack and cause a power outage, making it easier to mount the attack on military personnel. At the end of the meeting, Tatar asked if the informant was a federal agent. (It was unclear how the informant responded.)
_ Nov. 15: In an attempt to find out if the informant was a federal agent, Tatar told a sergeant with the Philadelphia Police Department that he had been approached by an individual who asked him to provide maps of Fort Dix and that he thought the incident was terrorist-related.
_ Nov. 28: Tatar told the first informant that he would provide a map of Fort Dix even though it could lead to his being deported. He expressed his continuing suspicions about the informant, saying, “I’m gonna do it. Whether you are or not (FBI), 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.” Later that evening, Tatar left a map of Fort Dix in an area near the informant’s residence.
_ Dec. 8: Shnewer told the first informant that the group had missed an opportunity to attack military personnel at the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia the previous weekend….