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Six Men Arrested in Plot to Attack New Jersey’s Fort Dix

Federal prosecutors have charged six Muslim men living in the United States with plotting to sneak into Fort Dix in New Jersey and kill as many military personnel as possible. The NewsHour speaks with the U.S. attorney working on the case.

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    Next, the foiled plot to attack an army base in New Jersey. Gwen Ifill has our story.


    The plot federal agents said they disrupted last night in New Jersey sprang from a single tip received by authorities 16 months ago. Tonight, six men are in federal custody, charged with planning an attack designed to target hundreds of U.S. soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base.

    For more on the investigation, we're joined now by U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, Christopher Christie.

    Welcome, Mr. Christie.

  • CHRISTOPHER CHRISTIE, U.S. Attorney, New Jersey:

    It's good to be here.


    Tell us about these men who are under arrest tonight. Who are they? And what motivated them, that we know of?


    Well, what we know about them, Gwen, is that they are people who were — three of them here illegally in the United States, three of them here legally — and what they planned over a long period of time, 16 months while we were surveilling them, was a plan to go and attack Fort Dix and to kill as many American soldiers as they possibly could.


    Describe to me the surveillance which you conducted over the 16 months and the training that was underway, for instance, that you wrote in the charging documents of everything from target practice in the Poconos to paintball exchanges.


    Well, very early on in this investigation, the FBI got a tip from a store clerk who had gotten a video that these people wanted dubbed into a DVD. And he saw that what the materials were on there, which was pictures and videos of them practicing in the Poconos, shooting in military garb, screaming out jihadist statements.

    He called his local police department, who got in touch with the FBI. Thereafter, we were able to infiltrate the organization, with cooperating witnesses who gained the trust of the people in this terror cell. And they then went on a course of covert surveillance, trying to see how they can infiltrate Fort Dix.

    They had someone in their group who was very familiar with Fort Dix, drew maps from memory. And then they were planned and ready to go to attack Fort Dix.

    The last thing they wanted to do was to obtain automatic weapons, AK-47s and M-16s. Those were delivered last night to them in inoperable form by the FBI, cooperating witnesses, and that's when we arrested them.