2007-05-09

The gang that couldn't shoot?

Maybe I can be forgiven for failing to get excited about the government's announcement that they have foiled a terrorist attack on the soldiers at Ft. Dix. Partly this comes from the poor credibility of the folks making these types of announcements: the facts tend not to add up to the proposed sum, the prosecutions tend to fizzle, and it is often hard to avoid the perception that somebody is creating panic for panic's sake.

In this case, if there was a planned attack, it seems to have been exceedingly badly planned. A bunch of kids failed comically to maintain secrecy, trained by playing some silly "extreme sport" in their back garden, and planned to go shoot people at a place where they would be massively outnumbered by people who are better armed and trained than they are. Keystone terrorists?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

So grown men in their mid-late twenties are "kids"?

As for the back garden - a neighbor reported that last summer Agron Abdullah used dynamite rigged to a lamp and connected with a light switch to blow up a tree stump in his back yard.

Do you know any "kids" using dynamite in their backyard?

It's said he had military training in Egypt and was a sniper in Kosovo.

Eric Gordy said...

Kids. Dumb ones at that. And he was a sniper like my dog is a trained attack shark.

Yakima_Gulag said...

If you look at today's post over at Yakima Gulag Literary Gazett, you will find that the court is looking for an Albanian language interpreter for these guys. Despite attending school in the U.S. I guess they still need an interpreter.

I'd like to know what is the source of the story the neighbor reported something to do with dynamite...

Incidentally I've known boys that got hold of dynamite and blown it up in the back yard.

Usually a boy or young man gets hold of it because his father is in some line of work with legitimate access to dynamite.

Anonymous said...

"I'd like to know what is the source of the story the neighbor reported something to do with dynamite..."

The neighbor, Missy Stott, is quoted on Pg. 2 at this link:

http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1178695562292940.xml&coll=8

This is what is said:

Looking back, however, there was one particular incident at the home that should have raised red flags.

Last summer, Agron Abdullahu wanted to remove a tree stump in the front yard to make way for a boat.

Neighbors say he placed a stick of dynamite in the stump, rigged it to a lamp with extension cords that he plugged into an electrical socket inside the house. When he flicked the switch, the stump blew out of the ground, neighbors said.
Stott remembers Abdullahu's reaction when she mentioned it on the job.

"I was joking with him and I said, Well, at least I don't blow up tree stumps,' " Stott recalled. "He said, Don't ever say that again.' "

Owen said...

Kids may be dumb but that doesn't stop them getting on the London Underground with explosives in their backpacks.

Eric Gordy said...

Owen, sure, but it doesn't follow that every backpack has explosives in it.

One interesting thing about this case that is certain to come up in court is the degree to which the FBI informant participated in developing the plot. This AP article gives some details:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003702460_fortdix11.html

Among other things, the informant scouted targets, recommended weapons, and made arrangements for purchase -- even to the extent of pushing the conspirators to go beyond what they were willing to do.

It is not clear how compelling this will be to a court -- entrapment defenses don't often succeed -- but it does suggest that the FBI may have had a role in creating the risk that they claim to have prevented.

Owen said...

Eric, I was wanting to make the point that dumb kids aren't necessarily harmless, but you're quite right in pointing to the other side of the dilemma - what are what we to do when we don't trust the person whose finger is pointing at them?