Shortly after the convictions of five NJ Muslim men plotting to kill US soldiers, several Islamic leaders have come out against the verdict. The list includes James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay. He has claimed that they never would of killed anyone and that they were incited by a government informant. In the past Yee was charged with spying for the enemy and treason. Those charges were later dropped.
CAIR spokesperson Jim Sues has said that many Muslims would see this as entrapment and American Muslim Union of Jersey has stated that the defendants do not look like people who would plot an attack like this. According to many Muslims those in their community could never do anything wrong.
Many Muslims skeptical of Fort Dix verdicts
By WAYNE PARRY
December 22, 2008
Yes, they talked tough, fired guns and watched jihadist videos.
But the five young Muslims convicted Monday of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix may not have been guilty of anything more than youthful braggadocio and poor judgment.
That was the verdict rendered by Muslim leaders immediately after the guilty verdicts were read in U.S. District Court in Camden.
"It seemed to me as if the case was pretty flimsy," said James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba who was arrested in 2003 and charged with mishandling classified material and other crimes in a suspected espionage ring. Criminal charges were later dropped against him.
"It seems like these guys under normal circumstances weren't going to do anything until a government informant initiates contact with them and incites them," said Yee.
"All of this doesn't help build trust with the American Muslim community, and that is vital if our law enforcement is going to fight terrorism," he said. "If anyone can improve security, it's our community, but we need to be seen as trusted partners, not potential suspects."
Mohamed Younes, president of the Paterson, N.J.-based American Muslin Union, voiced similar sentiments.
"I don't think they actually mean to do anything," he said. "I think they were acting stupid, like they thought the whole thing was a joke. They don't look like the type of people to do something like this."
Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, attended five days of testimony during the trial.
"Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment," he said. "From what I saw, there was a significant role played by the government informant."
During the eight-week trial, the government relied heavily on information gathered by the informants, who infiltrated the group and secretly recorded hundreds of conversations.
Convicted were: Jordanian-born cab driver Mohamad Shnewer; Turkish-born convenience store clerk Serdar Tatar; and brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, who had a roofing business.
A sixth man arrested and charged only with gun offenses pleaded guilty earlier.
Fuat "Mike" Mamo of Cresskill said the Albanian community in New Jersey is ashamed of the three Albanian brothers who were convicted.
"I don't know what they were thinking," Mamo said of the Duka brothers. "They were just out of their mind and they should be put away for life. The Albanian community is nothing like this.
Link to Article