Defense attorney Rocco Cipparone and FBI informant Besnik Bakalli engaged in a spirited back-and-forth this morning in the Fort Dix trial, with the judge occasionally having to act as referee.
For months, Bakalli secretly recorded conversations with the five defendants, all foreign-born Muslim men accused of plotting an armed attack on Fort Dix. In the recordings Bakalli made, three of the defendants -- brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka -- talk constantly about weapons and jihad, but they do not mention an attack on Fort Dix or any other target.
Cipparone showed Bakalli dozens of snippets of transcripts this morning in which the Dukas demur and waver on whether they are ready or want to commit themselves to armed jihad. Some of those conversations were not played by the prosecution.
In one, while the men are discussing suicide bombing, Shain Duka said, "No, I wouldn't do, that I wouldn't do."
Bakalli essentially accused Cipparone of taking the clips out of context and repeatedly challenged Cipparone to allow him to add that context.
"I guess you don't want me to explain," he said.
"I want you to answer my question," Cipparone shot back.
Cipparone also accused Bakalli of playing on the Duka's Albanian "sense of bravado and manhood." The Dukas are ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia. Bakalli is an illegal alien from Albania.