Federal court sentences Fort Dix conspirators to life in prison

[JURIST] The five men convicted of plotting to kill US soldiers at Fort Dix [official website] have been giving sentences ranging from 33 years to life in prison. Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer was given a life sentence [UPI report] by a federal judge at the US District Court for the District of New Jersey [official website] Wednesday, and Serdar Tatar was sentenced to 33 years. On Tuesday, brothers Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, and Shain Duka were each sentenced to life in prison. The five men were convicted [DOJ press release; JURIST report] in December 2008 of conspiracy to commit murder and weapons offenses, but were acquitted of attempted murder. Their guilty verdicts [text, PDF] were upheld [JURIST report] last month.

Federal prosecutors maintained that although the men had no ties to any terrorist organization, they were inspired by al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and were planning an attack. The five suspects 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 2008. Their trial began [JURIST report] in October. In March 2008, 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.

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