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5 Convicted Of Plot To Kill Fort Dix Soldiers

Five Muslim immigrants were found guilty Monday of conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in an attack on a New Jersey Army base, but they were acquitted of attempted murder.

A federal jury in Camden, N.J., returned the verdicts against ethnic Albanian brothers Shain, Dritan and Eljvir Duka; Turkish-born Serdar Tatar; and Jordanian-born Mohamad Shnewer after 38 hours of deliberation.

Prosecutors said the defendants wanted to wage a holy war against the United States by carrying out an attack at the Fort Dix Army post. But defense attorneys maintained the men were only talking big and had no intention of going through with an attack.

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During the eight-week trial, prosecutors relied heavily on information gathered by informants, who infiltrated the group and secretly recorded hundreds of conversations. Investigators said the men were inspired by Osama bin Laden, but they were not accused of any ties to foreign terrorist groups.

Prosecutors said the men bought several assault rifles supplied by the FBI and trekked to Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to practice their shooting. The government also presented dozens of jihadist speeches and videos that prosecutors said the men used for inspiration.

All of the men lived in the Philadelphia area; Fort Dix is about 40 miles from Philadelphia.

The men face up to life in prison when they are sentenced in April.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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