[Updates below, under the “fold.”]
Regarding the terrorist plot against Fort Dix, which was foiled by standard law-enforcement procedures — Steve M. correctly predicted much chest-pounding and feces-throwing on the Right, although Michelle so far has not resorted to multiple exclamation points (!!!). Steve also says,
So apparently no warrantless wiretapping led to these arrests, no torture of suspects in overseas prisons, nothing liberals have objected to in the Patriot Act. Remember that when you’re told that these arrests prove that we can’t trust liberals and Democrats.
In fact, what led to these arrests, apparently, is something right-wingers might object to — a video processor calling the FBI after watching people on a tape shooting guns. I’m surprised that that isn’t already illegal, as the result of pressure from the gun lobby. But maybe that’s a fight for another day.
I should add that it won’t surprise me if it turns out that there’s a lot less to this plot than current reports are suggesting — an overhyped terror arrest would go very nicely with the “did we really kill a top al-Qaeda guy?” reports coming from overseas lately.
Whatever the case, we’ll also hear that this proves that “we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here,” even though we are fighting them over there and these guys are here anyway (and they came from Albania, where no one’s suggesting we start a surge).
The basic story is that six Islamic radicals were planning to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers as part of a jihad against America. This is what the Department of Justice is saying, anyhow, so take that with a grain of salt. They were arrested after they tried to purchase AK-47s from a gun merchant who was also an FBI informant, but the six had been under FBI surveillance for more than a year. It appears they were all in the country illegally. [Correction: Some news sources are saying one was a U.S. citizen.] Four were ethnic Albanians, one was born in Turkey, and one was born in Jordan.
Fort Dix today is a training and mobilization center for the Army Reserve and National Guard. I don’t know if there’s a connection, but back in 1999 thousands of ethnic Albanian Muslims were housed at Fort Dix after they had fled war-ravaged Kosovo.
And don’t forget — the NRA wants suspected terrorists to be able to buy guns.
Update: According to CBS News, five of these guys lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Cherry Hill is an enclave of old money; there are rumors the public schools there have gold-plated restroom fixtures. Weird.
Oh, CBS News also says:
At the time of the arrests, the plot was in the planning stages and no attack was imminent, CBS News has learned. Officials said this is more of a “homegrown” plot with no ties to al Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization, CBS News reports.
I forgot to mention earlier that one of these geniuses tried to get a terrorist training video tape converted to DVD at a store in Cherry Hill. A store employee notified authorities.
Update 2: Pam the Superboob blames Bill Clinton.
Update 3: Brilliant as ever, La Shawn Barber calls for “ethnic and religious profiling.” Four of these jihadists were ethnic Albanians, dear. As in European. But I’ll go along with religious profiling if it means Pat Robertson goes on a no-fly list.