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The Informant in the Fort Dix Case

POSTED: 04:03 PM ET, 12/22/2008 by Derek Kravitz

An artist's rendering of the five defendants in the Fort Dix conspiracy trial: Shain Duka, from bottom left, Eljvir Duka, Dritan Duka, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer and Serdar Tatar (Shirley Shepard / AP)

The convictions of five Muslim men on charges they plotted to kill soldiers at Fort Dix is a victory of sorts for the government and their use of an informant who infiltrated the terrorist ring.

The five men, all from Philadelphia and neighboring New Jersey suburbs, apparently were inspired by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden but had no foreign ties to the terrorist group. Defense attorneys said the men simply talked about a plan to kill soldiers and never intended to carry out the attack.

The five were acquitted on less serious charges of attempted murder today in federal court in New Jersey but still face up to life in prison.

The linchpin for the government's case during the eight-week trial was the testimony of Egyptian-born Mahmoud Omar, a cooperating informant who worked with FBI agents over 16 months, recording hundreds of hours of conversations with the suspects.

Defense attorneys for the five Muslim men portrayed Omar as a con man who received $238,000 for his work with the FBI, as well as a convicted felon charged in 2001 in connection with an elaborate counterfeit-check scheme.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick has said Omar and a second informant used by the FBI are "flawed" but reliable and said they were brought into the case for "their knowledge of the religion, culture and language of the suspects," Danielle Camilli of the Burlington County Times reported.

Defense attorneys claim the federal government overlooked many of Omar's shady dealings, including drug-dealing, chopping up cars for export to Egypt and the selling of his Social Security card for $3,000 during the course of the investigation, The Philadelphia Daily News reports.

By Derek Kravitz |  December 22, 2008; 4:03 PM ET
Previous: Top 10 Scandals of 2008 | Next: Foreign Gifts to White House Staff


Please email us to report offensive comments.


Posted by: glsrini | December 22, 2008 5:02 PM

Thank God they were convicted.
A blow to Liberals,...a triumph for America.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | December 22, 2008 5:12 PM

How nice of our Government to use a bunch of Car chopping Drug dealers to do their dirty work. They sucker a bunch of pissed off Arabs into talk trash about our corrupt Government, then lock them up for being Terrorists. On You Tube you can see a couple that was locked up for wearing homemade T-Shirts that said No Bush, & regime change starts at home. They sued and and won 80 grand. This is all a show so Bush can say Lookie lookie I caught some Terrorists.

Posted by: HemiHead66 | December 22, 2008 6:59 PM

Paid testimony should be illegal in case it isn't already. Why? Because it is obviously a conflict of interest.

Posted by: ElMugroso | December 22, 2008 7:14 PM

I guess the Out-To-Lunch-Bunch, you know those people who still believe that al-Qaeda was never a threat, Saddam was in the box, and 9/11 was a Bush-Cheney plot against the American people will be flocking to the defense of these goons. Expect the ACLU to hammer the Obama Regime to pardon them, apologize on behalf of the American people, and give them each $250,000 for their troubles.

Posted by: OIFVet06 | December 22, 2008 7:32 PM

Homeland Security should be using its resources to identify and deal with real threats. This is a fabricated dog-and-pony show to amaze the credulous. These poor saps had a few beers, talked big about their grievances with the government, and were led like sheep by the scoundrel who infiltrated. This criminal was paid five times my annual household income inciting these dummies. Entrapment? You Betcha! The commenter who says paid testimony should be illegal is spot-on right.

Posted by: indycevans | December 23, 2008 10:41 AM

Prety easy to see that the government used a very typical Muslim to convict other very typical Muslims.
Scum betrays scum.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | December 23, 2008 11:39 AM

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