I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t believe any of these FBI-provoked terror plots. This one, prosecuted by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, was particularly egregious:
Tony, Shain and Eljvir spent the night wondering how they were going to get out of what they assumed would be gun charges.
The next morning, the brothers, along with Tatar and Shnewer, who had been seized in separate raids, were driven in a black-tinted police van past throngs of reporters and cameramen to the federal courthouse in Camden, New Jersey.
Inside, they were presented with a criminal complaint accusing them of conspiracy to murder U.S. military personnel. “I was confused at first, but for the most part I breathed easy when I saw that,” Shain says. “I figured they mixed us up with someone else and we’d be out of here as soon as we cleared things up.”
As Shain remembers, the boys were taken to a holding cell and instructed to read through the complaint in its entirety. Shain read aloud to the group. The complaint consisted almost entirely of Mohamad Shnewer’s private conversations with Mahmoud Omar. “After reading it we all turned to Shnewer,” Shain says. “Is this really true!? You went to a military base, you said this and that!? Who the hell is Confidential Witness #1?! Mahmoud Omar was an informant? Unbelievable! We were all pissed at Shnewer.”
It became clear to the brothers that Shnewer, in his conversations with Omar, had committed them to taking part in a “plot” to attack Fort Dix without their knowledge.
The five men were charged with conspiracy to attack military personnel, as well as with weapons offenses for the guns they had attempted to purchase from Mahmoud Omar.
At a press conference announcing the indictments, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie praised law enforcement for stopping an impending threat, painting a dark portrait of the alleged plotters. “Believe me, too,” he said. “These people were ready for martyrdom. They spoke about martyrdom extensively in the tapes. They said they were to do this in the service of Allah.”