Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 20:31 UK

US base accused 'plotted jihad'

Fort Dix
Fort Dix is located 40 miles (65km) east of Philadelphia

Five men accused of plotting to attack the Fort Dix army base in New Jersey were intent on launching an Islamic 'holy war', their trial has heard.

Prosecutors say the men, all foreign-born Muslims, amassed an arsenal of weapons that included rocket launchers and machine guns.

They say the plot was to kill as many US soldiers as possible.

Defence lawyers argued that the men's right to a fair trial has been compromised by intense publicity.

Despite being foreign-born, all five suspects, who are in their 20s, have spent much of their lives in the US.

They were arrested in May 2007 after a lengthy FBI investigation and charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to murder army personnel. Four have also been charged with weapons offences.

'Pre-emptive arrests'

Prosecutors say the pre-emptive arrests of Serdar Tatar, a legal US resident from Turkey, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a US citizen born in Jordan, and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, were a matter of public safety.

In his opening address to the jury, assistant US attorney William Fitzpatrick said: "Their motive was to defend Islam. Their inspiration was al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Their intention was to attack the US."

He said prosecutors would present about 90 recordings of the "jihad" plot obtained by two paid FBI informants during a 16-month undercover investigation.

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.

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San Luis Trial to examine alleged plot to kill soldiers - 22 hrs ago 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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