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Terrorism expert will testify in Fort Dix case

Inquirer staff writer George Anastasia reports:

A FBI terrorism expert is expected to testify this morning as the prosecution wraps up its case against the so-called Fort Dix Five.

Depending on how many witnesses the defense calls and whether any of the five defendants opts to take the stand, the case could go to the jury sometime next week.

Five foreign-born Muslims raised in the Cherry Hill area are on trial for plotting a jihad-inspired attack on the South Jersey military base. The trial, which began in federal court in Camden on Oct. 20, has included dozens of secretly recorded conversations made by two paid FBI informants who infiltrated the group during a 16-month investigation.

The defense has argued that the informants manipulated the defendants into a conspiracy they had no intention of carrying out.

The five defendants, brothers Dritan, 29, Shain, 27, and Eljivir Duka, 25, Serdar Tatar, 25, and Mohamad Shnewer, 24, could be sentenced to life if convicted of plotting to kill American military personnel. All but Shnewer also face weapons charges.

Most observers believe it is unlikely any of the defendants will take the stand.

Judge Robert Kugler said that closing arguments would begin on Monday if, as expected, all testimony concludes this week.

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