A federal judge in New Jersey has ordered that the six young immigrants arrested for plotting an attack on Fort Dix be kept in detention. At a hearing, most of the men waived their rights to argue for bail. But their lawyers took the opportunity to say the men are not radical Islamic terrorists, as prosecutors have said.
The six men, all in their 20s, filed into the courtroom: Elvir Duka, who goes by the name Elvis, thumped his chest and waved. His brother, Dritan, put his hand on his heart. Mohamed Shnewer kissed his fingers and pointed toward his family.
Their mothers and sisters and aunts, wearing Islamic head scarves, wept and cried out.
Only Shnewer made a serious attempt to get out on bail, as his lawyer argued that his 22-year-old client is a devoted son who quit college to drive a cab and help out his family and had never been in trouble before.
But prosecutors made it clear that Shnewer is in trouble now. They argued that he is a man who cased out military installations, who threatened to light up Fort Dix with gun-fire, and who sought to buy automatic weapons.
With their bail denied, all the men shuffled out of court looking much grimmer than when they arrived.
Outside the courtroom, Shnewer's lawyer, Rocco Siperone, told reporters that the last four days in custody have been tough on Shnewer.
Investigators say that they watched Shnewer and his friends for months. They claim that he hid guns and a map to Fort Dix in this house.