Five Muslim Extremists Convicted In Ft. Dix Terror Case

December 22, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Into their sixth day of deliberation a New Jersey jury today convicted five Islamic radicals on charges of plotting to kill members of the U.S. military.

The announcement was made by acting United States Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr.

The convicted were Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, brothers Dritan Duka, Shain Duka and Eljvir Duka and Serdar Tatar on Count One of the seven-count Superseding Indictment that charged them with conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military. The jury acquitted each of defendants of Count Two, which charged attempt to murder members of the U.S. military.

Because of the severity of the charges the defendants face up to life in prison.

The case was tried by Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Hammer, Jr., Chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office Terrorism Unit. U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler, who presided over the 12-week trial, scheduled sentencing of the three Duka brothers for April 22. Judge Kugler scheduled sentencing of Shnewer and Tartar on April 23.

The three Duka brothers [Dritan, Shain and Eljvir] are illegal immigrants.

The defendants were arrested on May 7, 2007, in Cherry Hill as Dritan and Shain Duka were meeting a confidential government witness. They believed the witness would supply them with four automatic M-16 rifles and three semi-automatic AK-47 rifles which were to be used in the planned attack on Ft. Dix.

About the case, the prosecution stated:

"These men planned, trained and ceaselessly talked unambiguously about their intention to ambush and kill U.S. soldiers?The word should go out to any other would-be terrorists of the homegrown variety that the United States will find you, infiltrate your group, prosecute you and send you to a federal prison for a very long time."

Janice K. Fedarcyk, Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI commented, "Vigilance was the key to disrupting the dangerous terrorists convicted today and we are glad they are off the street. We appreciate the tip from an alert citizen who reported this suspicious activity to law enforcement. Without tips from concerned citizens or cooperation from our law enforcement partners, it is much more difficult to safeguard our nation and protect the United States from terrorist attack."

The defendants and the charges on which each was convicted are as follows:

  • Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 23, of Cherry Hill: conspiracy to murder members of the members of the U.S. military, and the attempted possession of AK-47 semi-automatic assault weapons to be used in the attack.
  • Dritan Duka, 30 of Cherry Hill: conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military; possession of machine guns; possession and attempted possession of machine guns in furtherance of a crime of violence; and two counts of possession of firearms by an illegal alien.
  • Shain Duka, 27, of Cherry Hill: conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military; possession of machine guns; possession and attempted possession of machine guns in furtherance of a crime of violence; and two counts of possession of firearms by an illegal alien.
  • Eljvir Duka, 25, of Cherry Hill: conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military, and possession of firearms by illegal aliens. The jury acquitted on one count of possession and attempted possession of machine guns in furtherance of a crime of violence.
  • Serdar Tatar, 25, of Philadelphia: conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military.
  • A sixth co-defendant, Agron Abdullahu, 26, of Buena Vista Township, Atlantic County, pleaded guilty before Judge Kugler on Oct. 31, 2007, to aiding and abetting the Duka brothers' illegal possession of weapons. Abdullahu was arrested on May 7, 2007, along with the defendants convicted today. On March 31, 2008, Judge Kugler sentenced Abdullahu to 420 months in federal prison.

    The charge of conspiracy to murder members of the U.S. military carries a sentence of any number of years up to life in prison. The charge of possession of a machine gun in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment. The charge of attempted possession of AK-47 semi-automatic assault weapons to be used in the attack carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Each count of unlawful possession of machine guns carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison. Each count of being an illegal alien in possession of firearms carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.

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