They talked tough, fired guns and watched jihadist videos according to prosecutors and a jury found them guilty of conspiring to kill us soldiers at Fort Dix. Still family members say the five young Muslim men committed no crime and may not have been guilty of anything more than poor judgment.
“I know him for 23 years. I know he is not a terrorist even though they say he's a terrorist. He is not a terrorist,” said Serpril Tatar, sister of suspect Serdar Tatar.
A jury did not agree, finding five Muslim immigrants guilty of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix back in 2007. Still family members defend the men.
“Tell all the world, our kids are innocent,” one family member said.
Discrimination in post 9/11 America, they're saying.
“We are accused because we are Muslim -- that is not right,” said Faten Shnewer.
Though an act of terrorism was never carried out, jurors made their decision unanimously. Graphic evidence showing the men training with automatic weapons and watching jihad videos did not help their case.
“Only twisted individuals would enjoy the videos played in the courtroom -- that wasn't just talk. Only twisted criminals would prep for jihad -- that was not just talk,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra.
Still family members question other evidence presented by the FBI, namely the informants who were illegal immigrants themselves. Family members believe the informants riled up the men and persuaded them to come up with the plot.
Apparently a jury did not agree, holding the five men accountable for what they believe would have been a massacre against us soldiers.
“A phenomenon may exist that young Muslim individuals, particularly men, may be filled with a little too much testosterone and maybe some bad judgment, say things that get themselves, as you can see, in serious amounts of trouble,” Defense Attorney Mike Riley said.