Immigration

The New Jersey Six

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The Wash Times has an account of the six New Jersey residents who have been arrested for allegedly planning to attack Fort Dix in the southern part of the Garden State:

The men were identified in court papers as Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, 22, of Cherry Hill, a U.S. citizen born in Jordan and employed as a cabdriver in Philadelphia; Serdar Tatar, 23, of Philadelphia, born in Turkey and legally residing in the U.S. who worked at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Philadelphia and as a deliveryman at his father's pizzeria: and Agron Abdullahu, 24, of Buena Vista, N.J., an ethnic Albanian born in the former Yugoslavia who is legally residing in the U.S. and works at a Shop-Rite Supermarket.

Also identified were three brothers, Eljvir Duka, 23, Dritan Duka, 28, and Shain Duka, 26, all of Cherry Hill, who are ethnic Albanians born in the former Yugoslavia who reside illegally in the U.S. and operate Colonial Roofing and National Roofing.

The crew has been under FBI surveillance since January 2006, when one of them brought a DVD to Kinko's for copying. Said DVD showed the six shooting guns and shouting Islamic slogans; the clerk alerted the authorities. The six were arrested after they tried to buy automatic and semi-automatic weapons from an undercover agent.

More details here. Assuming the charges pan out (they don't always), this seems like a good instance of police work.

The cable coverage I've seen so far has been stressing the "illegal immigrant" angle–though I've yet to read an account of how the Duka boys actually got into the country. Given their country of origin, it seems unlikely they snuck across the Mexican border (the scenario that anti-immigration folks frequently trot out).

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  1. Were the guns legal?

  2. I can tell you one place where I won’t be copying my DVDs in the future.

  3. ooops, I guess the fully automatic ones (assuming they really were) would have been illegal. thank goodness for that I guess.

  4. Dave W.:

    They tried to buy fully automatic weapons from an undercover agent posing as someone who could get them. I haven’t read anything that said they actually had automatic weapons.

    And, no, “fully automatic” does not necessarily mean “illegal.”

  5. In New Jersey the FA weapons would have been illegal. It’s almost certain that any semi-automatic weapons they had would have been illegal in New Jersey as well.

  6. Affidavit here.

    The cable coverage I’ve seen so far has been stressing the “illegal immigrant” angle–though I’ve yet to read an account of how the Duka boys actually got into the country. Given their country of origin, it seems unlikely they snuck across the Mexican border (the scenario that anti-immigration folks frequently trot out).

    What? You mean they are complaining about illegal immigrants commiting crimes in the USA even though they are NOT Mexican? Oh the humanity!

    Does this ‘racism’ know no bounds or is the actual issue that some people are against illegal immigration no matter what the race or origin of the illegal? You know, folks like me.

    Maybe, some day, we will see the term illegal immigrant in reason without quotes around it.

    Looks like they never got their undocumented guns and ammunition.

  7. And, no, “fully automatic” does not necessarily mean “illegal.”

    But if the guns weren’t illegal, then how could the authorities have protected Fort Dix in this case? That is why one would hope that the guns were illegal here, I think.

  8. What kind of crappy terrorist organization can’t swing 40 bucks for their own DVD burner?

  9. Not trying to be snarky here, but this is the first time I can recall hearing of a bunch of guys who wanted to go on a shooting rampage where their intended victims might have a chance of actually fighting back. (I make this comment on the assumption that Fort Dix is NOT a “gun-free zone.”)

  10. If terrorists tried to attack New Jersey, how could we even tell whether they succeeded?

    And would anybody care if they did succeed?

  11. Dave W.:

    For a purchase of a fully automatic rifle to be ‘legal’, the buyer would have to obtain a Class III License from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. This involves a lengthy background check, numerous expenses, etc. I think the local chief law enforcement officer also has to approve. I do not know if one can be a resident alien and pass the check, but almost certainly once it was discovered that they were illegal aliens, the request for the Class III License would’ve been denied.

    (This is going off of memory; apologies for any errors in the above. Consult your own counsel for legal advice, etc.)

  12. Dave W.:

    Which guns are you talking about? They ones they were videotaped firing or the ones they tried to buy?

    The posession of guns wasn’t the issue that got them caught. It was the videotape of them shooting them and shouting slogans that raised the eyebrows of the first informant.

  13. Page 19 of the affidavit notes that they did not want the M-60 (a belt-fed machine gun) or the RPG. Page 18 has the list of what was “available”.

    One of them notes that he did not want the machine guns because he has kids and does not want to be thought of as a terrorist, or something.

  14. jkp:

    You’re wrong about the “Class III License.” A Class III SOT is only required to deal in such firearms.

  15. Which guns are you talking about?

    Whichever ones form the basis of the indictment. I mean, you can’t be arrested just for shooting legal guns and shouting stuff, after all.

  16. Nick calls this “good police work”, yet he ignores the fact that no (true) crime has taken place. These guys have simply engaged in their natural rights to a)bear arms, b)make videos, and c)talk and think about committing a crime.

    Why is he not calling for their immediate release? Where’s Radley when you need him?

  17. Um, why don’t we all go back and read the only source document (linked to above) that some of these ‘journalists’ are making up writing their stories from, rather than reading stories that most ‘journalists’ are just re-writing off of each other (like several of you guys are doing right here)?

  18. Damaged Justice has it. Of course, any smart terrorist would have practiced landing as well as taking off, and we missed that in ’01, so maybe they’re just cocky.

  19. Random musings:

    1) Chalk one up for the “law enforcement/intelligence” model, rather than the military model, of counter-terrorism. The fact that the FBI succeeding in protecting the military from a terror attack should probably make this one count twice.

    1a) As part of the “law enforcement model,” the feds kept the wanna bes under surveillance for a year and a half after discovering them, in order to make sure the whole gang was rounded up and to allow the feds to gather more intel by seeing who they were meeting with and what they were talking about. Immediately after 9/11, the S.O.P. was immediate interdiction to disrupt ongoing plots, a strategy more suited to warfighting than law enforcement and intelligence. It’s good that the FBI is being allowed to use the tactics it has perfected against other shadowy networks over the decades, like the mafia.

    2) We seem to require a new version of flypaper to deploy in Iraq. We’re supposed to be fighting them in Najaf so we don’t have to fight them in New Jersey, doncha know.

    3) Looks like some self-starters, rather than the Al Qaeda sleeper cells we keep being told are all over the place.

    4) An Army base. The target they chose was an Army base. Not a grade school. Not an office building. Yes, Virginia, the Iraq War is inspiring terrorism.

  20. I agree with Guy. I don’t even trust the story from the Moonie paper Nick noted.

  21. Jen,
    Don’t be surprised if the Army base is a gun free zone. Even here in Iraq, while on base soldiers have to have their weapons unloaded.

    That is why some Iranian terrorists were able to kidnap four soldiers and kill various others when they were able to trick their way on a base.

  22. From what I can tell, law enforcement has evidence of the planning of a crime and evidence that the group took positive steps in furtherance of the crime. I believe there’s a name for that.

    joe,

    The what inspired the WTC and the Pentagon? Yeah, Iraq isn’t helping things, but I don’t think we can talk about carts and horses much. A better argument might be to leave the Middle East alone entirely, but it’s probably too late for that. Come on, Mr. Fusion!

    However, I agree with you about the FBI, which has a history of being inept whenever possible. It’s been apparent that intelligence and law enforcement have been too willing to rely on electronic surveillance and not on actual fieldwork for quite some time. This is a good sign that maybe the FBI, at least, is learning the lesson.

  23. Pro Lib,

    “The Iraq War inspires terrorism” does not equal “The Iraq War inspires all terrorism.”

  24. About the weapons. They were looking for fully automatic rifles? It is a good thing they didn’t try to get legal semi automatic ones then. Those are much more effective.

    Joe,
    The FBI model didn’t work so well to stop 9/11, which somehow was inspired before our troops were in Najaf

  25. From what I can tell, law enforcement has evidence of the planning of a crime and evidence that the group took positive steps in furtherance of the crime. I believe there’s a name for that.

    Hype?

    Nose of wax?

    Easy to allege?

    I mean, arranging to buy an illegal gun is pretty impressive as a positive step. The other stuff, not so much.

  26. The FBI model didn’t work so well to stop 9/11

    Go easy there, kwais. You can’t have a war on terrorism unless you have some terrorism in the first place. LIHOP is model that has its place.

  27. kwais,

    “Joe,
    The FBI model didn’t work so well to stop 9/11”

    You mean the attack that happened eight months after the Counter-terrorism Director position was demoted from cabinet level to sub-cabinet level, and one month after the president told his CIA briefer “OK, you’ve covered your ass,” after his statement that there was an attack coming? You’re right, the intel/law enforcement model didn’t work very well at that time.

  28. But hey, on the flip side, we really showed those Chinese back in ’01!

  29. Pro Lib,

    Said what I meant, but better.

    I will second, that maybe to not be in the middle east at all would have worked a lot better.

    I don’t see that being in Iraq is more terrorist inspiring than containment of Iraq.

  30. About the weapons. They were looking for fully automatic rifles? It is a good thing they didn’t try to get legal semi automatic ones then. Those are much more effective.

    The only documentation released sofar lists M-16s, AK-47s, simi-automatic pistols and revolvers. I looked for, but did not find, if any of the rifles were full-auto capable or not. Normally M-16s are, unless they are very new and then they only go semi or 3 round burst.

    The FBI agent on the news this AM said the suspects were presented with non-functional weapons and were arrested during the purchase. IIRC, if the rifles were presented as full-auto and the would-be purchaser attempts to buy them that is one of those crimes prefaced by “attempted”.

    Note: USA Today (I am sure others too) is saying that purchasing AK-47s is illegal. They need to qualify that a bit, because you can buy semi-auto AK-47s all day in most of the USA.

  31. If terrorists tried to attack New Jersey, how could we even tell whether they succeeded?

    This story doesn’t pass the smell test.

  32. Guy,

    Legally, a three-shot burst is full auto per the NFA. Any firearm that discharges more than one round per pull of the trigger = full auto.

  33. The crew has been under FBI surveillance since January 2006, when one of them brought a DVD to Kinko’s for copying…

    The FBI probably got involved initially because they heard it was porno…

  34. kwais,

    “I don’t see that being in Iraq is more terrorist inspiring than containment of Iraq.”

    Haven’t you seen any of the reports about the increase in terrorism worldwide since the war began?

  35. Dave W,
    I am not sure what you are saying. Are you going the conspiracy theorist angle?

    Joe,
    11 years of warnings about the coming of 9/11, that the one dude got demoted 8 months before is maybe the wrong move, but not as big in comparison. 11 years of warnings from our allies in Afghanistan. And various underlings in the FBI getting ignored.

    The dude who got demoted had many a chance and many a year to do the right thing, to take the threat seriously before he got demoted.

  36. db

    Semi-automatic weapons are not illegal in NJ.

  37. Legally, a three-shot burst is full auto per the NFA. Any firearm that discharges more than one round per pull of the trigger = full auto.

    Yes, but I was attempting to make a distinction between the old style, magazine exhausting mode, and the stuff the new guys have.

  38. Semi-automatic weapons are not illegal in NJ.

    Attempted purchase of a fully automatic firearm probably is illegal there, as well as federal.

  39. kwais,

    “The dude who got demoted had many a chance and many a year to do the right thing, to take the threat seriously before he got demoted.”

    The dude who got demoted was Richard Clarke, who has been described as “running around with his hair on fire” during the first nine months of the Bush administration, trying to get them to take seriously the threat of a terrorist attack on the United States.

  40. rdkraus:

    NJ has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any state in the country. I am aware that some semi-automatic weapons are legal in NJ.

    Guy:

    Purchase of a full-auto weapon is definitely illegal in NJ. It is not a federal crime unless said weapon is not registered in the National Firearms Registry Transaction Record.

    Attempting to purchase or make an unregistered full auto weapon is definitely a federal crime.

  41. The cable coverage I’ve seen so far has been stressing the “illegal immigrant” angle

    Illegal immigration seems to be related to this case in the same way terrorism was related to the VT shootings. I heard the prosecutor, Christie, interviewed on Phiily radio this morning. He said that the immigration aspect was not really important here. The interviewer (Smerconish, who’s hot for “securing our borders”) asked him how he could say such a thing. Christie said that the perps have been in the country for a long time, having arrived long before they began planning their terrorism. They didn’t sneak in in order to commit terrorism.

  42. Joe,
    I am somewhat skeptical of those reports. I am weary that they might be similar to reports of school violence. The reports can skyrocket without there really being any activity out of the normal.

    Also, some of the increase in terrorism activity is an increase that is not a result of anything that we did. Osamas move to Afghanistan from Yemen marked the increase, the attacks in Saudi and elswhere though higher than what they were before 9/11 are lower than what they would be if we were still trying to do containment of Iraq.

  43. I am not sure what you are saying. Are you going the conspiracy theorist angle?

    Not exactly.

    MIHOP: Conspiracy theorists.

    Official Story: Jingoism.

    LIHOP: The Truth.

    I am something of a LIHOPPER, as you may have guessed. Those conspiracy theorists are just plain nuts.

  44. If terrorists tried to attack New Jersey, how could we even tell whether they succeeded?

    And would anybody care if they did succeed?

    Oooooh, you make me so MAD!

  45. So, apparently the fact that we’re fighting ’em over there isn’t actually keeping them from attacking us over here – eh?

    OTOH, it sounds as though there are some branches of Law Enforcement over here that are actually getting real results without any hat tips to the War on Terror abroad.

    Isn’t that one of the primary Hawk justifications for our military being in Iraq et al in the first place? So that people here in the US will be safer?

    Whatever…

  46. db,

    Attempting to purchase or make an unregistered full auto weapon is definitely a federal crime.

    I suspect that if I try to purchase a registered full-auto firearm, cash and no paperwork, there is some applicable charge there.

  47. Guy:

    I’m not saying that these guys didn’t do anything illegal. I am simply trying to correct imprecisions in the understanding of the appropriate laws here.

  48. Joe,
    In the book “Ghost Wars” (Outstanding book btw) if I remember correctly, he is only described as running around with his hair on fire when his job was at risk. Before then he was much more blase, and when he recieved information from CIA dudes who came to him and told him stuff was going to happen.

    They told him before the embassy attacks, they told him before the USS Cole was attacked, and they told him that an attack was going to happen on US soil.

    They requested various times to take out OBL and he did not back them up. He did wake up to the threat, and for whatever reason with a new administration that did not trust the former, he was not given his due.

  49. Actually, quite a few Albanians get here via the Mexican border…though they also come via fraud docs or the Canadian border.

  50. db:

    You are correct. My apologies. I found this post describing the process in Pennsylvania:

    http://www.pafoa.org/forum/nfa-class-3-title-ii-34/1882-read-first-process-acquire-make-nfa-items-pennsylvania-jaybell.html#post17543

    It is still an involved process, and presumably the opportunity to stop would-be terrorists who were trying to ‘buy legal’ would be there.

  51. Dave W
    “official story = jingoism”?

    LILHOP?

  52. kwais,

    I’m not trying to set Clarke up as omniscient, just pointing out that the way this administration treated the threat of terrorism prior to 9/11 was severely lacking. The inattention given to the problem for the first nine months of the Bush administration is not evidence that using the practices that the FBI and CIA specialize in are ill-suited to fighting terrorism, since those efforts were neglected and impeded, not vigorously pursued, in the months prior to 9/11.

  53. Guy:

    Yes there would be a charge–posession of an unregistered firearm. the firearm would not be registered to you.

    Additionally, the registered owner would be guilty of selling the firearm without paying the transfer tax. While the transferee generally pays the tax, it is the transferor who is legally required to pay it.

    The vast majority of owners of registered full auto weapons (and I mean like 100%) would never consider selling without the proper paperwork. The risks are simply too high. And no one who is trying to illegally get a full auto weapon would pay the premium prices that registered, legal guns command.

  54. Also,
    If Kosovo Albanians are going to get into terrorism, shouldn’t they be hitting the Serbs? Or even other European nations?

    I mean we do have a mixed to bad record in Kosovo, but it seems to me that we are the only ones that did anything right over there.

  55. db

    Which semi-automatic weapons are NOT legal in NJ? I’m no expert, but any of the stores that sell guns will have numerous semi-automatic pistols for sale.

    You’re right that NJ firearms laws are among the most restrictive. Another good reason to get the hell out.

  56. joe:

    How would you rate the performance of the agencies (eg, FBI) in the McVeigh case?

  57. Joe,
    I’ll agree with your 10:23 post.

    And I could go on about complaints of mine of the incompetentness of the CIA and FBI, and of the previous administration. But I don’t have time here to write a book.

    All by itself, I wholly agree with your 10:23 post.

  58. The vast majority of owners of registered full auto weapons (and I mean like 100%) would never consider selling without the proper paperwork. The risks are simply too high. And no one who is trying to illegally get a full auto weapon would pay the premium prices that registered, legal guns command.

    The price quoted in the affadivit was $500 for an AK. The never-registered illegal purchase list of charges should now be in effect.

  59. I haven’t been in a gun store in NJ, ever, but can you tell me if there are semi-automatic rifles available for sale? I was under the impression that NJ had it’s own “assault weapons” ban that was particularly restrictive. I do know that semi pistols can be lawfully obtained in NJ–there are many USPSA shooters there, although they are hampered by the mag capacity restrictions from competing in some USPSA divisions.

  60. Guy:

    Yeah, you can barely even buy a legal semiauto ’47 for $500. Contrast that with a legal, FA one for about $15,000.

  61. Are they terrorists, if they were attacking a military base? I thought one of the conditions that makes an attack a “terrorist” attack is that it is targeting civilians.

    But if the guns weren’t illegal, then how could the authorities have protected Fort Dix in this case? That is why one would hope that the guns were illegal here, I think.

    Fort Dix didn’t need the authorities to protect them. They are a MILITARY BASE!!!

  62. I bought my AK for around $300. (semi auto).

  63. To the illegal immigration question, from this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

    The three at the heart of it, the Duka brothers – Dritan, Eljvir and Shain – roofers who sported the same crew-cuts and full, bushy beards: They are ethnic Albanians whose parents smuggled them into the United States as children in 1984.

    So they were illegal, but were infants when they arrived. Not exactly a “sneak across the border and blow up a building” kind of story.

  64. kwais: I bought my AK for around $300. (semi auto).

    I meant a good AK.
    *ducks*

    When did you buy it? I remember when prices were that good, but most that I’ve seen recently have been going for no less than $450.

  65. Can’t help you with rifles.

  66. Are they terrorists, if they were attacking a military base? I thought one of the conditions that makes an attack a “terrorist” attack is that it is targeting civilians.

    They would be war criminals/illegal combatants regardless of who they attacked and how, seeing as they are not uniformed members of a sovereign’s army subject to a chain of command, etc.

  67. So were they another “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” or were they a real threat?

    Do we have a consensus yet?

  68. kwais: I bought my AK for around $300. (semi auto).

    I meant a good AK.
    *ducks*

    You beat me to it 🙂

    A guy at work has an AK-47 from his late father-in-law’s collection and is asking $1,200+ for it. Now, I can generally tell a well made rifle from a crap one, but I need to dig up some info on what makes an AK worth that much and if this is one.

  69. So were they another “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” or were they a real threat?

    Do we have a consensus yet?

    Checkl with the global warming scientests. On this topic all we have is an affidavit and we don’t have access (yet) to their shooting video.

    Thank goodness they did not have a bunch of first-shooter games . . . or did they?

  70. No, mine is a good AK. It is great actually, a lot better than the vast majority of them in Iraq.

    I bought it a few years back, but I remember going into a gunstore in Nevada and looking and the prices were similar.

    It is a Chineese AK, so not as good as the Bulgarian or even the Russian ones, but I have had no problems, it never jams, and is pretty accurate for plinking.

  71. 1a) As part of the “law enforcement model,” the feds kept the wanna bes under surveillance for a year and a half after discovering them, in order to make sure the whole gang was rounded up and to allow the feds to gather more intel by seeing who they were meeting with and what they were talking about. Immediately after 9/11, the S.O.P. was immediate interdiction to disrupt ongoing plots, a strategy more suited to warfighting than law enforcement and intelligence. It’s good that the FBI is being allowed to use the tactics it has perfected against other shadowy networks over the decades, like the mafia.”

    The FBI is putting people under surveillance? How dare they!! I would be curious to see how this operation was done and what if any provisions of the dreaded Patriot Act were use. Everyone shoots their mouth off about how the Patriot Act is the dark night of fascism or how it is necessary to protect God Liberty and the American way, but no one on either side ever gives concrete examples of how this kind of thing can be stoped without the Patriot Act or how the Act is absolutely necessary to stop this or that act. I am not saying I know the answer but I would like to know.

    As far as the military versus the law enforcement angle, there really isn’t an angle. No one claims that you can replace law enforcement with military action. There are some instances where law enforcement does the job, six yahoos in New Jersey buying automatic weapons. There are other instances where only military action can help, a state supporting terrorism and harboring terrorists like Afghanistan or a failed state where terrorists operate with impunity, the Horn of Africa. No, I would want to send in the 101st Airborne after these guys. But, I wouldn’t send the Jersey Highway Patrol in after the Taliban or to get Bin Laden from the Sudan either. You are proposing a false dichotomy Joe.

  72. Is it just me? Am I the only one jaded by this administration’s hyping of every “terror” case only to later see them fall apart into minor cases?

    While I in now way sympathize or support these guys, this really sounds like just another testosterone induced fantasy.

    Yeah, I know they tried to get guns, but as many folks here can attest, some people just find it fun to shoot guns and fantasize about killing their enemies.

    I mean, its alleged they panned to attack an ARMY BASE. Not a school, mall, nuclear plant, government building, etc…. an ARMY BASE.

    Either a silly fantasy or a new version of “suicide by cop” among the itinerent jihadist types.

  73. 12 hundred for an AK? Is it made out of gold? Is it the one Stalin used to kill some little kids? Is it Saddam’s personal one?

    Maybe if you live in CA or NY or some other communist state that is what one costs if you want to buy it legally.

  74. Why is our multi-trillion dollar military industry afraid of 6 guys with some guns? Don’t military bases have guards and all that mess?

  75. I expect the deliberate substitution of ‘anti-immigration folks’ with anti-illegal immigration folks from Wiegel, but not from you, Nick.

  76. Dave W, I don’t know enough about the FBI’s handling of the McVeigh case to offen an opinion. Sorry.

    kwais,

    If the Kosovars were Albanian nationalists, they’d hit the Serbs. If, as seems to be the case, they are fundie Muslim jihadists who happen to be Kosovo, not so much.

  77. John

    “”but no one on either side ever gives concrete examples of how this kind of thing can be stoped without the Patriot Act “”

    America’s original homeland security, the 2nd Ammendment. We don’t really need the government to protect us if we are allowed to protect ourselves.

  78. It is a Chineese AK, so not as good as the Bulgarian or even the Russian ones, but I have had no problems, it never jams, and is pretty accurate for plinking.

    My SAIGA-12 is a Russian 12GA with an AK-based action. It was about $450 I think, after taxes and fees.

    If this guy’s AK is Russian with good wood hardware and real bakalite(sp?) magazines I am guessing it would be worth a higher price, but I have plenty of time to shop around.

  79. John,

    No one has given a concrete example of how this was stopped by the Patriot Act.

    Given the facts as presented, it appears that this was executed like any old-fashioned mob sting. They FBI got a tip, probably some search warrants for wiretaps, and set up a sting using an undercover agent.

  80. I think joe’s right on this point. Law enforcement does so much better when it relies on people on the job, who do extensive legwork and use lots of elbow grease (I have more clich?s if necessary). Electronic surveillance has its uses, but relying on it too much is a really bad idea.

    The Patriot Act was almost universally unnecessary, and I have particular disregard for the part that makes libraries and “banks” (actually the Act implicates most businesses that handle money, not just banks–I use shorthand here) into private law enforcement agencies. With huge penalties (for the banks, anyway) for failure to comply! Egad.

  81. Guy,
    If you are looking to spend a hefty chunk on a rifle, look into the H&K 416. (Or the Magpul, or one of the other rifles based on the H&K416). It has all the ergonomics and convenience of the M4/ M16, but has the reliability of the AK.

    You can get one in 5.56, 7.62×39, 6.8, or .306.

    The US Army was set to adopt them but are stingy and a bureocratic and a lot of other stuff that irritates me. But Delta is using them, and I have heard nothing but good things.

    I mean the AK is a good weapon for $300, or even $500. But if you are going to spend that much money, I wouldn’t get an AK.

    There is better shit out there.

  82. Are AKs STILL considerred to be more reliable than M-16s?

    I thought they straightened that out thirty years ago.

  83. The fact that the informant was also the one setting up the arms deal bothers me.

    “So, you’re into Jihad? Yeah me too. You know what would be totally cool? If we attacked an army base. Wouldn’t that be sweet! And hey, guess what? I think I can get us the guns? Lets do it!”

    Not necessarily entrapment but isn’t the informant playing the same role as a fundamentalist Imam?

    An Army base? Come on. Living in NYC, I can look around and see how easy it would be for an amateur terrorist to kill A LOT of people.

  84. Cern,

    Most of that is covered in the documents at The Smoking Gun. How about looking up what you allege and seeing if it is true?

  85. If you are looking to spend a hefty chunk on a rifle, look into the H&K 416. (Or the Magpul, or one of the other rifles based on the H&K416). It has all the ergonomics and convenience of the M4/ M16, but has the reliability of the AK.

    Actually, I am just looking to get an AK for novelty value, but am sure I will like it. That is sort of how the Saiga became my trap/wobble/skeet gun.

    Just was not sure what the one he has is worth and would rather buy one from someone I know.

  86. 1) You can legally own semi-auto weapons in NJ.

    1a) Though NJ does have it’s own version of the ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Presumably those possessed before the ban were grandfathered in.

    2) The restrictions and permits required to own any gun, even air guns are extremely onerous.

    3) New Jersey prohibits possession of magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

    4) New Jersey technically does allow possession of fully-automatic weaponry, but above and beyond jumping through the federally-required hoops to get one, you have to obtain a special state-level permit which a cursory Google search tells me is very rarely issued.

    5) Legally transferable machineguns and automatic rifles generally run in the tens of thousands of dollars. According to one NFA-enthusiast source, a transferable, fully-automatic AK-47 is $14,500

    6) If these guys were planning on buying these rifles for $500/each, then one can presume that they were attempting to buy full-auto AK’s that are not in the BATFE registry.

  87. Also, various flavors of legally-available SEMI-automatic AK rifles are available, prices start around $400 and go into the thousands of dollars depending on configuration, manufacturer, caliber, etc.

  88. “Are AKs STILL considerred to be more reliable than M-16s?”

    In some circles, this is an endless debate akin to “Lord of the Rings is waaaay better than The Matrix!”

    “I thought they straightened that out thirty years ago.”

    Meh.

  89. “There is better shit out there.”

    Agree.

    I’ve had more jams from AK-pattern rifles than AR-pattern rifles.

    Also, I find the general level of accuracy, ergonomics, sights, and trigger pull on AK-pattern rifles to be pretty much unacceptable.

    But that’s from my view as a competitive shooter.

  90. “If these guys were planning on buying these rifles for $500/each, then one can presume that they were attempting to buy full-auto AK’s that are not in the BATFE registry.”

    I’m guessing that what they were actually going to get were $300 semi-auto AKs that, when marked up for the “black market” would probably cost $500. I’d further guess that if they were semi-auto AKs that had been (illegally) “hacked” to operate full-auto, that they would black-market at more than $500… just guessin’ on that part tho’… the penalties for illegal ownership of Full Auto are sufficient deterent to keep me from looking THAT deep into hack jobs.

    CB
    Disclaimer: Former FFL holder and current legal holder of a “Class III device”.
    pps. I thought that the reliability issues with M16’s were corrected with the (now old) introduction of the “forward assist” and other modifications that accompanied it.

  91. Also a change in the sort of powder used.

    FWIW, I’d be willing to bet that the guns didn’t exist at all, or if they were shown to the suspects were probably taken from an FBI evidence locker somewhere.

  92. Also, I find the general level of accuracy, ergonomics, sights, and trigger pull on AK-pattern rifles to be pretty much unacceptable.

    That huge gas tube over the barrel on my Saiga took some time to get used to. Had to conciously make sure I was not elevating the barrel into view from under the tube and shooting a mile over every clay. After a while it became a non-issue.

    Those wierd springs they use are odd to get used to also.

    One of the 5 rd. magazines does not operate smoothly. Thought about taking it apart but I just use the other 2.

    Otherwise it is a good, tight gun. With the full choke tube (on a 19″ barrel) using 3 dram/7.5 shot shells I can usually hit trap clays “way out there”, like when we play “scrap” and stand on the skeet positions using the trap-shooting trap.

  93. FWIW, I’d be willing to bet that the guns didn’t exist at all, or if they were shown to the suspects were probably taken from an FBI evidence locker somewhere.

    Scroll up. An FBI guy was on the news this AM saying that they were presented with non-functioning guns at purchase time. So I am guessing the charge would be attempted illegal purchase of a Class III controlled firearm, or something like that.

  94. It looks to me as though the weapons buy is only a side issue. Certainly buying or attempting to buy a full-auto without the proper federal procedures would be illegal.

    But the big charge here is the planning of an attack on Fort Dix with alternate plans to attack other bases.

    I’m pretty sure the arms buy is just the thing the Feds needed to sew this up at a real threat and genuine conspiracy and not a bunch of trash talk from a bunch of disgruntled losers. Just as the video reproduction deal created probable cause for investigation and surveillance in the first place, but was not a crime in and of itself.

    But just sayin’, if somone came to me offering an under the table deal on full auto wepons I’d seriously consider the possibility that he was a Federal Agent trying to entrap me. Because I think that’s the most likely possibility.

  95. What kind of terrorists can’t get a DVD copied? Even if they had to go from VHS is some bizarre format to DVD, there are way too many devices and software available for that task.

    Mediageek: I’m no expert (haven’t fired my pa’s AR-15 in years), but competitive shooting is rather “clean” compared to warfare. I don’t think anybody argues that an AR is a better weapon when it’s clean. Isn’t the AK’s forte its ability to fire when it’s dirty, rusty and wet? I could be wrong, of course, but the AK’s “sloppy” action leads to a crappier gun until that sloppy action is needed because there’s seaweed lodged in there. No? (Disclosure: My competitive shooting was all with the Single Action Shooting Society, not exactly “modern.”)

  96. I thought that the whole AK vs M-16 thing was a matter of price at this point.

    If I’m not mistaken the M-16 is at least double the price of an AK on the legitimate arms market and that a lot of governments chose the AK on a “more bang for the buck” basis.

    It also strikes me that most of the foreign armies using the M-16 are getting massive US military aid. So those govts are simply going for the subsidy.

  97. “”I thought they straightened that out 30 years ago“‘

    Well they fixed a lot of stuff, if you are a civilian, or a pogue, and you have plenty of time to clean and maintain the weapon it is probably more reliable than an AK.

    But under stressfull conditions, and lots of use, it is less so.

    The H&K 416 is the same as an M4 on the outside, but has different internals, a different operating system. It runs like a sewing machine.

    The way the M4 works carbon blows back into the bolt to cycle the weapon.

  98. “foreign armies…are getting massive US military aid”

    Now THERE is something we should be arguing about!!!

    “The way the M4 works carbon blows back into the bolt to cycle the weapon.”

    CARBON!!!! Oh my gawd! Let’s tax the shit out of that and save the environment!!

    CB

  99. Lamar,
    I think that countries that use m16’s are countries that can afford them. Countries that use AK’s are those that can’t.

    In today’s M16’s and AK’s, the M16’s are usually more reliable in most training scenarios, but less so in actual war. Less so in very involved training.

    The flaw is not the tightness of the action, but the gas system. The really good AK’s are pretty tight too, and they still don’t jam.

  100. Kwais: Thanks for the specifics.

  101. “Mediageek: I’m no expert (haven’t fired my pa’s AR-15 in years), but competitive shooting is rather “clean” compared to warfare. I don’t think anybody argues that an AR is a better weapon when it’s clean. Isn’t the AK’s forte its ability to fire when it’s dirty, rusty and wet? I could be wrong, of course, but the AK’s “sloppy” action leads to a crappier gun until that sloppy action is needed because there’s seaweed lodged in there. No? (Disclosure: My competitive shooting was all with the Single Action Shooting Society, not exactly “modern.”)”

    Lamar-

    That’s why I qualified my comment as being from a competitive shooter. I have neither the experience nor firsthand knowledge to say whether the rifle functions well in adverse/combat conditions.

    That said, I have known some competitive shooters to go 1,000+ rounds between cleaning of an AR-pattern rifle.

  102. Not trying to be snarky here, but this is the first time I can recall hearing of a bunch of guys who wanted to go on a shooting rampage where their intended victims might have a chance of actually fighting back. (I make this comment on the assumption that Fort Dix is NOT a “gun-free zone.”)

    Actually (remembering from my own military service some time ago) it is sort of a gun-free zone. Civilian concealed carry is prohibited on military bases. There are lots of military firearms, of course, but almost all are securely locked away in arms rooms. In three years of active duty stateside as an infantry officer I spent almost all of it unarmed. When we did draw rifles it was usually for training, and we were lucky if we got blank cartridges. There were only two situations where I actually had both a firearm and ammo. The first was at a firing position on a rifle range, where you were issued the number of cartridges for an exercise just before time to shoot. The second was as paymaster, way back when the pay was in cash. I drew a pistol and one magazine (seven rounds) of ammo. The Army doesn’t do cash pay any more.

    Basically, the only people armed on a typical military base were the Military Police.

    You’re wrong about the “Class III License.” A Class III SOT is only required to deal in such firearms.

    Sort of true. But any Class III firearm must be licensed, along with paying the $300.00(?) tax, and following restrictions on where you can take it.

    Why is our multi-trillion dollar military industry afraid of 6 guys with some guns? Don’t military bases have guards and all that mess?

    Of course. Just like VATech does.

    Though NJ does have it’s own version of the ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

    NJ “assault weapons” definition here. (Scroll down) Both AK-type rifles and the AR 15 series are prohibited.

  103. “Sort of true. But any Class III firearm must be licensed, along with paying the $300.00(?) tax, and following restrictions on where you can take it.”

    Purchasing an NFA Title II firearm requires that the buyer pay a $200 transfer tax in the case of sound suppressors, fully automatic firearms, and short-barreled rifles, or shotguns.

    Weapons that fall under the “Any Other Weapon” (AOW) category require a $5 transfer tax. This would include things like pen guns or other firearms that are peculiar in design.

    I believe that the NFA tax also applies to “non-sporting” firearms that have a bore over fifty caliber.

  104. Most of that is covered in the documents at The Smoking Gun. How about looking up what you allege and seeing if it is true?

    Guy… touch?.

    I took your advice and reviewed the affidavit. Interestingly, there are plenty of scare quotes from the bad guys but almost no quoted material from the informants. There is little indication one way or the other as to how much the paid informant encouraged the plan. It does appear as though the informant made the first offer to supply assault weapons (page 22). Amusingly, the “terrorist” turned him down. There is precious little information about the arrest triggering event (actual attempted purchase).

  105. It’s kind of hard to be “competent” when you are crippled from performing your job by lack of manning, intelligence gathering tools, or higher officials just blowing you off.

    It’s like telling a car mechanic to build an engine in a day and only giving him a 7/8″ box wrench.

    Telling the FBI and CIA, “Go find out who’s planing attacks on us, but you can’t use a mole, we don’t want anyone in harm’s way. As if you’d need to, you can listen to their phone converstions at your lesiure with that machine over there… but you can’t use that either, you know, ‘illegal wire tapping’ and all…” is not going to make for stellar results.

    The attack on Ft. Dix was thwarted because the FBI had guys on the inside, and that’s the best way to monitor and apprehend cells short of “catch, tag, and release”, but that’d be BAAAAAAAD and infringe on the terrorist’s human rights (and Allah knows he’s so concerned with yours).

  106. Also a change in the sort of powder used.

    Originally they tried to use the same powder as the 7.62x51mm NATO round. It turns out that the calcium carbonate concentration was too high and scaled up the gas tube and bolt/bolt carrier interface and gas rings, causing malfunctions. Not enough gas could get back to the carrier to move it.

  107. ============
    You’re wrong about the “Class III License.” A Class III SOT is only required to deal in such firearms.

    Sort of true. But any Class III firearm must be licensed, along with paying the $300.00(?) tax, and following restrictions on where you can take it.
    =============

    I’m intimately aware of the requirements. the tax, as noted above, varies according to the type of firearm and is $200 in the case of machineguns.

    It’s not a license, it’s a background check to establish the individual’s eligibility to own it.

    The restrictions on movement as provided for by the NFA apply generally only to movements across state lines. Owners must have an approved Form 5320.20 specifying the location to which the weapon is to be temporarily moved. This is not required for sound suppressors. Of course, one can’t legally move a lawfully owned NFA item into a jurisdiction that prohibits them locally.

  108. Originally they tried to use the same powder as the 7.62x51mm NATO round. It turns out that the calcium carbonate concentration was too high and scaled up the gas tube and bolt/bolt carrier interface and gas rings, causing malfunctions. Not enough gas could get back to the carrier to move it.

    Not sure if the stuff I am remembering is a little more “original” than that. Two types of powder were tested: A faster burning powder, not from it being chemically different, but by the shape of the pellets and “regular” powder. The faster burning stuff gave a faster cyclic rate in the lab and test ranges, but it tended to swell in humid areas (like Vietnam) enough in the cartridges to get rounds stuck hard in the chamber. So hard that the base could be ripped off by the extractor.

    They finally switched to a “regular” powder (sounds liek the stuff you are talking about) and solved the swelling problem.

    TLC or the History channel has a good show about it featuring the museum guy at Aberdine(?) who is the curator of the whole M-16 collection and was amoung one of the first soldiers to be issued one in the 1960s(?).

  109. The restrictions on movement as provided for by the NFA apply generally only to movements across state lines. Owners must have an approved Form 5320.20 specifying the location to which the weapon is to be temporarily moved. This is not required for sound suppressors. Of course, one can’t legally move a lawfully owned NFA item into a jurisdiction that prohibits them locally.

    I think there is a restriction on concealed carry in TN (and other places) about carrying threaded barrels being illegal even without a suppressor installed. Not sure how that applies to the Walther models that use threaded barrels exclusively.

  110. Here’s the deal on NJ firearms. NJ residents get an ID card from their local police departments that lets us buy one or one hundred, or one thousand long guns. Once we have the card, it works like a library card.

    For purchases of new guns, we have the federal instant check in place, but for used guns, if you have the ID card, I can sell to you.

    NJ has a separate so-called assault weapon ban. It bans specific guns, and grabs guns which are substantially similar, whatever that means. NJ did not grandfather existing guns. Buy the rifle before the ban, pay the sales tax, and it became contraband once the ban was passed.

    The NJ ban specifically names the AK-47 and the AR-15. But a former Attorney General wrote a letter stating that possession of AR-15s would be OK, and even gun stores will sell ARs. With a replacement AG in place, the fate of the AR is in question.

    Whatever is substantially similar no one has figured out. Uzis are banned, Marlin Camp Carbines in the same caliber are okay. AK is banned, AR is fine. SKS is NG, but Ruger Mini 15 or 30 are fine.

  111. I can’t believe this thread has gone as long as it has without someone saying “Duka, Duka”.

  112. The cable coverage I’ve seen so far has been stressing the “illegal immigrant” angle–though I’ve yet to read an account of how the Duka boys actually got into the country.

    A good guess is they were brough over as refugees from Kosovo and stayed in the refugee camp on the Ft. Dix military reservation, then kept staying in the area even after they were supposed to go back.

    You know, fallout from some of that “just war” stuff that some people are into.

  113. Just to clarify.

    In addition to the paperwork, background check and tax the transfer of a Class III firearm must be done through a dealer with a Class III Federal Firearms Licence (FFL).

    There can be no direct private sales as there are with other guns. If I am not mistaken the dealer must hold the gun until all the requirements have been met but on that I might be wrong.

    Suffice it to say, transferring a full-auto rifle is a convoluted chore.

  114. I think that countries that use m16’s are countries that can afford them. Countries that use AK’s are those that can’t.

    That was what I was getting at in my post at 12:36pm.

    For the most part the countries that can afford M16s are countries that get US military aid. It either makes up the difference or covers the whole bill.

    I notice from the TV coverage that the new Iraqi Army is using AKs. I assume that’s mostly because they already had a shitload of them from Saddam’s day though.

  115. Isaac,

    You are incorrect about transfers having to go through a dealer. NFA firearms can be transferred directly from person-to-person unless the transferor and transferee do not reside in the same state. There is a somewhat gray area questioning whether the instant background check has to be performed by a dealer after the paperwork has been approved, so some go to a dealer to have that done.

    There is no requirement for a Special Occupational Taxpayer to mediate a transfer of NFA firearms if the transferor and transferee reside in the same state. Some states require additional paperwork, which is what you may be thinking about.

  116. A) Repeat after me: THERE IS NO TERRORIST THREAT

    B) What the fucking fuck is wrong with Muslims? Our military intervened to save their Albanian asses from Christians who were trying to kill them. So we’re the bad guy now? Ok, we’ll remember that lesson for the future.

  117. Dave,
    Really the case can be made that we fucked the situation up, and caused more Kosovo Albanian and Bosnian deaths than lives we saved. And in both cases intervened as the situation was just about to turn around and the underdogs were about to gain the upperhand.

    Even though this, we are the lesser of the guilty parties. Russia and then the Rest of Europe being the true criminals in these cases.

    Therefore if retaliation would make more sense against them.

  118. How were these guys discovered? I’m sure it was a tip from one of those fancy Data Mining programs which read all of our phone calls, bank records, and emails. That god for the Patriot Act. Not.

  119. Really the case can be made that we fucked the situation up, and caused more Kosovo Albanian and Bosnian deaths than lives we saved. And in both cases intervened as the situation was just about to turn around and the underdogs were about to gain the upperhand.

    Through the arms embargo the West imposed against the Muslims? I was against that at the time. Unsure now.

    z,

    How were these guys discovered?

    Try scrolling up. Reading is an important, but fleeting, tool in our society.

    They were reported to have been discovered when they brought a video tape to a photo store to be burned to DVD. Several posts above refrence that and I posted the affadivit where it is spelled out in little tiny words that are easy to understand.

  120. I strongly doubt that the movtivation behind the attacks was “The United States made a strategic error in intervening at the moment which it did, our tensions with the Serbians WHO WERE FUCKING KILLING US were increased because the US started BOMBING THE SHIT OUT OF THEM TO SAVE OUR LIVES, which may have led to more violence than would have occured otherwise!”
    I do not, however, doubt that the motivation was something more like “Islam will take over the world, the infidels must die, praise Allah!”

    I’m sure I’m being so simplistic though.

  121. Dave,
    The Serbs were killing the Bosnians and later the Kosovars with immunity BECAUSE of our arms embargo.

    A one sided killing like that doesn’t happen when both sides are armed.

    We prevented one side from arming to defend itself, but we didnt prevent the other side from arming to commit genocide.

  122. Just heard on the Balko cable network that the illegals were brought to the us as children in 1984. If that is true then the legal refugee theory I mentioned earlier is probably wrong.

    Would be ironic if they got in through some government “ignore the borders” program advocated by the collander crowd.

  123. Thanks, db, I stand corrected.

  124. Sorry, but I’m late to the thread. I guess it was a good piece of police work. If having the case handed to you is good police work. Remember, if it hadn’t been for the heads up of the CITIZEN who worked in the DVD dupe store the police might not have found out about these criminals. Again, the police cannot protect us. We must protect ourselves. These guys were dolts, that’s why they were busted. What are the police doing to protect us from the smart criminals?

  125. joe @ May 9, 2007, 9:28am “An Army base. The target they chose was an Army base. Not a grade school. Not an office building. Yes, Virginia, the Iraq War is inspiring terrorism.”

    joe @ May 9, 2007, 9:37am “”The Iraq War inspires terrorism” does not equal “The Iraq War inspires all terrorism.””

    So was this terrorist plot inspired by the Iraq War or not?

    If not, what is your point?

    PS – And can Radley tell us if they were they arrested by a SWAT team?

  126. What if the illegals in the bunch entered through someplace in Texas, like Brownsville, and they actually joined a radical Islamic group sometime later?

    Nah! That could never be!

  127. This story looks like it could have been written from this thread, even the title: Did FBI tricks fix Fort Dix 6?
    Terror suspects may claim entrapment

    GEOFF MULVIHILL
    Associated Press Writer
    May 11, 2007

    Then again, what was discussed here (and in the linked article) is so predictible that there are probably classes on it.

    Maybe the FBI got this guy interested in bomb making as a hobby?
    That one will get some traction in certain circles.

  128. A good guess is they were brough over as refugees from Kosovo and stayed in the refugee camp on the Ft. Dix military reservation, then kept staying in the area even after they were supposed to go back.

    Rush Limbaugh has already jumped on this angle and blamed Bill Clinton.

    And in other news, the Pope is Catholic.

  129. Mike,

    Coming late to the thread allows you to read all of the posts, including this one.

    The roles of both joe and Dave W. are already filled. Thank you for visiting.

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