“A federal jury in Camden found the brothers and two co-defendants guilty after hearing they engaged in military-style training, viewed videos of jihadist beheadings and sought out illegal firearms, including machine guns….Authorities had launched an investigation in January 2006 after receiving a video that showed the suspects at a firing range in the Poconos, shooting guns and shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ and ‘jihad in the states.'” But they’re in jail because they had bad attorneys, see?
Frivolous challenges like this one just eat up the Infidel’s time and resources. And that’s the idea.
“Judge: Dix terrorists can return to Camden,” by Jim Walsh, Courier Post, October 22, 2015:
CAMDEN – Three Cherry Hill brothers, found guilty of plotting a terror attack on Fort Dix in 2008, can return to South Jersey to challenge their convictions, a federal judge has ruled.
The men – Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka – are serving life terms for their roles in a conspiracy to assault the Burlington County military base. A federal jury in Camden found the brothers and two co-defendants guilty after hearing they engaged in military-style training, viewed videos of jihadist beheadings and sought out illegal firearms, including machine guns.
The brothers are challenging their convictions on the grounds that their defense attorneys were ineffective.
U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler said Wednesday the men can return to his Camden courtroom Jan. 6 for separate hearings on their claims.
Kugler initially set a Nov. 4 date for the hearings, but delayed it after the brothers’ current attorneys said they needed more time to consult with their clients. The brothers currently are in separate federal prisons in Colorado, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The brothers, who came to this country illegally from Albania as children and worked together as roofers, were convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel and other offenses.
Also convicted were Mohamed Shnewer, 30, formerly of Cherry Hill, and Serdar Tatar, 32, formerly of Philadelphia. They are pursuing separate appeals.
All five defendants were arrested in May 2007 after Dritan Duka, now 36, and Shain Duka, 34, arranged to buy machine guns and semiautomatic weapons from a cooperating witness in Cherry Hill, Kugler’s ruling said.
Authorities had launched an investigation in January 2006 after receiving a video that showed the suspects at a firing range in the Poconos, shooting guns and shouting “Allah Akbar” and “jihad in the states.” The FBI obtained the video from a clerk at a Mount Laurel electronics store after the suspects asked him to make a copy.
In a Sept. 30 ruling, Kugler rejected six claims that the trial lawyers were ineffective, including one based on attorneys’ failure to question a juror who reacted angrily to violent videos viewed by the suspects.
Among other points, the judge noted the Dukas were acquitted of some charges. For instance, Eljvir Duka, now 32, was found not guilty of possessing or attempting to possess a weapon in furtherance of the group’s conspiracy.
But the judge called for the Dukas and their former attorneys to provide evidence about a claim that the brothers were improperly denied their right to testify.
According to Kugler’s ruling, the brothers must show their trial attorneys’ actions “fell below an objective standard of reasonableness” and likely influenced the trial’s outcome.
The Dukas assert they wanted to testify in their defense, but could not because their attorneys claimed to be unprepared for that possibility. That so-called “attorney coercion” violated their constitutional rights, the men assert.
In response, federal prosecutors say the brothers’ current claims contradict “assurances they gave the court during trial regarding giving up their right to testify.” They also say the defense attorneys have denied the brothers’ allegations….
The government also sought to prevent the brothers’ return to South Jersey, arguing the men could give testimony in their prisons.
But Kugler accepted the Dukas’ argument that “fundamental fairness” required their presence in the courtroom so the judge could assess their credibility and the brothers could assist their current attorneys with cross-examination of their former lawyers.