Monday, December 22, 2008
Five men were convicted on Monday of conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers in a planned attack on an Army base in New Jersey that prosecutors described as a bid to wage Islamist holy war against America.
The five foreign-born defendants were found not guilty on charges of attempted murder after an eight-week trial.
Prosecutors had told the court the defendants were inspired by al Qaeda and wanted to wage holy war on the United States.
Defense attorneys had argued that while the men talked the talk of militancy, it was all bravado and they had no real intention of carrying out the attack on Fort Dix army base, which was never executed.
“This has been one of the most difficult things that we have ever had to do,” the members of the sequestered jury said in a statement read to the court by the judge after six days of deliberations.
“During these last six days we have held the fate of these five defendants in our hands and we have not reached our conclusions lightly,” the statement said.