Yet he denies terrorism charges. At any rate, forget about the “inconvenience” of metal detectors in the airport; thanks to these jihadists, now playing paintball and hanging out around donut stores may soon be deemed suspicious activities. Fort Dix Jihad Update.
“Trial starts for Muslims accused of plotting ‘jihad-inspired’ attack on US base,” by Tom Leonard for the Telegraph, October 20:
Five Muslim men amassed an arsenal of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades for an al-Qaeda-inspired attack on a US army base, a court heard yesterday.
The suspects may have trained by playing paintball but the alleged plot to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey has been presented by the US government as one of the most serious examples of home-grown terrorism since the September 11 attacks.
The five men, all born outside the US but resident in the country, were charged in May 2007 with planning but not executing the attack on the base, which trains troops for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the start of their trial yesterday, prosecutors said the defendants were inspired by “jihad”.
“Their motive was to defend Islam. Their inspiration was al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Their intent was to kill members of the United States armed services,” said William Fitzpatrick, prosecuting.
The government alleges that in 2006 and 2007 the men turned paintball games into terrorist training sessions and met at places like Dunkin’ Donuts to discuss killing soldiers on the army installation in New Jersey.
The jury was told it would see jihadist videos that the defendants watched and would learn many details of the alleged plot, including claims that one of the men went on reconnaissance missions at Fort Dix and other military installations.
The men, all aged in their 20s, have denied terrorism charges. They include three Albanian-born brothers, illegal immigrants who ran a roofing business in New Jersey.
The others are a Jordanian-born taxi driver and a Turkish-born convenience store assistant.
Their lawyers are expected to question the role of two paid government informants who made hundreds of hours of secret recordings in the case.
Addressing such potential claims, Mr Fitzpatrick said the FBI had to find people who would have credibility with aspiring terrorists.
One of the informants was interested in citizenship and the other was interested in money, he said.
The court heard that conversations recorded by the FBI included one in which Mohamad Shnewer, the Jordanian-born defendant, referred to being tailed by a car.
Quoting Shnewer in the recording, Mr Fitzpatrick said: “They are the ones, we are going to put bullets in their heads, God willing.”
A sixth man who admitted supplying firearms to the group was jailed for 20 months in March.