[JURIST] Opening arguments began Monday in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey in the criminal trial [materials] of five men accused of plotting to kill US soldiers at Fort Dix [official website]. The accused, all foreign-born Muslims in their 20s, are charged [JURIST report] with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons offenses. In his opening arguments, Deputy US Attorney William Fitzpatrick argued that the accused were inspired by al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Defense lawyers are expected to question the role of two paid government informants who made hundreds of hours of secret recordings in the case. The defense contends there was no plot but the government paid informants to get the accused to discuss one. AP has more.
The five suspects, Serdar Tatar, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, and Shain Duka, were arrested [JURIST report] in May 2007 for allegedly plotting to sneak onto the New Jersey military base and kill soldiers. They pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] in January. Their trial is expected to last into December. In March an accomplice, Agron Abdullahu, was sentenced [JURIST report] to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty [JURIST report] to charges of conspiring to provide firearms and ammunitions to the other five men.