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Page last updated at 19:54 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 20:54 UK

US army base 'plot' trial begins

Fort Dix
Fort Dix is used for training, particularly for reservists

Jury selection is beginning at the start of a US trial of five men accused of plotting an armed attack on the Fort Dix army base in New Jersey.

Choosing 12 jurors from the 1,500 people summoned to serve could take three weeks, the Associated Press says.

The five suspects, all foreign-born but who have spent much of their lives in the US, were arrested in May 2007.

The main question for the jury will be whether the men would have actually carried out the alleged plot.

The case represents a type of pre-emptive prosecution that has become more common in US terrorism trials since 11 September 2001, AP reports.

Prosecutors say the men planned to use automatic weapons to kill as many US soldiers as possible.

The five defendants face charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder army personnel. Four have also been charged with weapons offences.

'No plot'

Officials say lives were saved by arresting Serdar Tatar, a legal US resident from Turkey, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a US citizen born in Jordan, and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, illegal immigrants from the former Yugoslavia.

They also say there is no evidence the men had links to international terror networks.

The FBI says it infiltrated the group after an alert by a video shop worker, who was asked to copy onto DVD footage of the men firing guns and chanting.

But defence lawyers say there was no plot and that the government paid an informant to get the men to discuss one.

A sixth man, Agron Abdullahu, pleaded guilty in 2007 to providing weapons to some of the other defendants and is serving a 20-month prison term.

Fort Dix is used for military training, particularly for reservists.




SEE ALSO
Man pleads guilty in US base plot
31 Oct 07 |  Americas
Arrests over US army base 'plot'
09 May 07 |  Americas

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
San Luis Obispo.com Trial to examine alleged plot to kill soldiers - 22 hrs ago
FOXNews.com Terror Trial Begins - 25 hrs ago
NBC 10 Jury Selection Begins In Fort Dix Trial - 28 hrs ago
Washington Post Trial to examine alleged plot to kill soldiers - 29 hrs ago
MSNBC Trial to examine alleged plot to kill soldiers - 40 hrs ago



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