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Terrorist plot in Cherry Hill, NJ; illegal aliens among alleged plotters; a John Doe turned them in; press conference at 2:30pm Eastern;Fort Dix has been a refuge for ethnic Albanians; details from the complaint;Dix responds

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 8, 2007 08:26 AM

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Soldiers at Fort Dix: Targeted by jihadists

Update: The names of the suspects via one of the filed complaints:

Dritan Duka (illegal alien); Eliver Duka (illegal alien); Shain Duka (illegal alien)
Serdar Tatar (the pizza deliverer…his family owns a pizzeria near Ft. Dix)
Mohamad Shnewer
; Agron Abdullahu

Via Allahpundit: According to CBS News, Shnewer is from Jordan and is the lone (naturalized) U.S. citizen of the six; Tatar, from Turkey, and Abdallahu, from the former Yugoslavia, are legal permanent residents. The illegal alien Duka brothers are also from the former Yugoslavia.

From the FBI affidavit, here’s the John Doe moment:

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The plotters watched videos of armed attacks on US soldiers, studied the last will and testament of at least two of the 9/11 hijackers, and watched bin Laden exhortations to jihad. They plotted with an FBI informant:

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Here’s a glimpse at their surveillance trips:

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They trained, stocked up on weapons, and plotted for the next six months. By February, they were up to this:

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At one point, they contemplated joining the military to wage jihad from the inside:

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Update: Fort Dix responds:

FORT DIX SECURITY REMAINS STRINGENT

“Security at Fort Dix remains stringent in the wake of arrests Monday of six men who were allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on the post. This alleged attack is a reminder that we are a nation at war, and that each of us must be vigilant and aware of our surroundings.

“On a positive note, the Fort Dix and McGuire AFB law enforcement community has partnered with the FBI and local communities during this lengthy investigation to ensure the safety of our joint installations.

“Mobilization and training continue as scheduled at Fort Dix, which has mobilized and demobilized more than 95,000 Soldiers since September 11.

“Those passing through checkpoints onto Fort Dix will notice more frequent vehicle searches and strict adherence to a 100 percent ID check, which may slow traffic. “

***

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on a thwarted terrorist plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix: (hat tip- reader David B.)

The FBI arrested five people in Cherry Hill and one in Pennsylvania last night for an alleged plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, a federal official said. Some of the six men, who are Algerian [Albanian] citizens, tried to purchase automatic weapons from a local gun dealer, the source said. Carolee Nisbet, a public information officer at Fort Dix, said: “I understand that they weren’t just targeting Fort Dix, that it was a multiple-base plan to attack several bases in the Northeast.” She declined to elaborate. At the base this morning, Nisbet said: “They are going to make the security procedures more stringent, but we’re not going to increase the threat level. We are just going to make people more aware of their surroundings. WNBC-TV in New York reports that three of the men are brothers and followers of Islam, and have lived in the United States for several years. Five of the men are expected to be arraigned in federal court in Camden today.

Updates galore here and here.

PJM notes that a press conference is scheduled for 2:30pm Eastern.

This won’t be a surprise to many of you. Not to me:

Federal investigators last night arrested six Islamic radicals who were planning a heavily-armed attack against soldiers at Fort Dix as part of a jihad against America, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a statement released this morning to confirm a report on The Star-Ledger’s Web site, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the men planned to “kill as many soldiers as possible.”

Officials would not comment beyond the brief statement. But two law enforcement sources said the men had conducted surveillance of the Army base and were caught allegedly attempting to purchase AK-47s to carry out their plan.

The bust came after several of them were lured to a meeting with an arms-seller who turned out to be a secret FBI informant, said both sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the arrests.

Some of the would-be attackers have been illegally in the United States, while others are illegal immigrants, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Four are ethnic Albanians, one was born in Turkey, and a sixth was born in Jordan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

And it looks like we have an alert John Doe to thank for helping to turn the plotters in:

“They were prepared to die,” said the law enforcement source. “We became increasingly convinced this was for real and these guys were ready to roll.”

The FBI had the group under surveillance for more than a year, the source said. The men had scouted out Dover Air Force Base and Fort Monmouth before settling on Fort Dix, a base that is used to mobilize troops to Iraq, said the source.

The men – several of whom were in the same family – had videotaped their practice sessions in the Poconos, the source said. That videotape, in which they railed against America, led to their arrests.

The men made the mistake of bringing it to a retail store, seeking to get a copy burned to a DVD, according to one of the sources. A store employee who later watched the tape called the FBI who began immediately investigating.

Store employee, whoever you are: thank you. Watch your back. The CAIR-mongers may be on their way.

***

What a way to show their gratitude. Flashback June 1999:

The sounds of Islamic calls to prayer echo across Fort Dix, temporary host to thousands of ethnic Albanians who fled war-ravaged Kosovo. But the U.S. Army base will soon play final taps for the refugee resettlement program that should end this month.

“I feel like I’m in a paradise,” one Kosovar explained, as she described the base that has been a haven for about 4,000 refugees.

With nationwide settlement efforts in full swing, the military has no plans to bring other refugees to the makeshift village.

So far, 500 Kosovars have been relocated; about 100 are scheduled to leave daily. All the refugees should know by mid-June where they will be going, officials said.

“This was always intended to be a temporary facility,” said Michael Kharfen, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

After arriving at Fort Dix from camps in Macedonia, the refugees received medical checkups, security clearances and U.S. government documents.

More on how our military welcomed the refugees:

FORT DIX, N.J., June 15, 1999 – For those meeting planes and buses bearing Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, welcoming war-weary refugees to the United States was like stepping into America’s past.

“We want to welcome these people to America the way we might wish our grandparents and great-grandparents had been welcomed to Ellis Island,” U.S. Army Gen. Mitchell M. Zais, said he had told troops assigned to Operation Provide Refuge…The general, head of Joint Task Force Provide Refuge, said he recalled his own family history as the first planeload of about 450 refugees came down the ramp May 5 at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. “The babushka-covered ladies looked as I imagined my grandmother looked when she came across the gangplank at Ellis Island — an illiterate peasant refugee from Central Europe, driven out of Kiev by the pogroms,” he said…

…Fort Dix was the place to go for the more than 4,000 Kosovar refugees who arrived here in May. Landing at McGuire after a 13- hour trans-Atlantic charter flight, they boarded buses for a quick ride to this quiet, tree-lined Army Reserve post. A former basic training center, Fort Dix offered a temporary safe haven, and a host of service members, civilians and volunteers worked to make the refugees comfortable.

…Zais gathered a team of about 80 soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve Command in Atlanta and about 200 soldiers from the airborne corps and other units from Fort Bragg, N.C. The New Jersey National Guard assumed the lead in partnership with the American Red Cross in coordinating charitable donations from private individuals, U.S. corporations, church groups and other organizations.

With the help of Fort Dix officials, the military went to work to support the refugee camp named “The Village.” The military also supported the relief effort’s interagency task force, headed by the Health and Human Services Department and including federal agencies, nongovernment resettlement organizations and volunteer groups.

…Shortly after the first Albanians arrived, Zais said, a foreign reporter asked if it was appropriate to bring these refugees to a military installation after they had been traumatized by Serb soldiers in Kosovo. The general replied that only the Yugoslav army uniform would strike terror in their hearts.

“It’s been my experience in Vietnam, in Korea, in the Middle East, and everywhere else I’ve traveled through Central and South America, that the American soldier is loved around the world for his compassion and generosity,” he said. “The only people who fear American soldiers are those who have a good reason to.”

More on Fort Dix’s Operation Provide Refuge.

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Flashback 1999: American soldiers welcome ethnic Albanian refugees to Ft. Dix

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