Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mother Nature and all her wicked ways.

With Hurricane Dean gaining strength and about to enter the Gulf of Mexico, I started thinking back to my first hurricane experience. I have lived in Houston for 2 1/2 years, and in the days leading up to Hurricane Rita immediately on the heels of the devestation left by Katrina, I have to say that those days were one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I remember the day they announced Rita was heading to Houston, it was a Tuesday, and it was my birthday. I suppose it was some cosmic joke that I got a hurricane for my birthday...

Being blessed to live in America, I had never known a day where I couldn't run down to the local grocery store or gas station to pick up what I needed. I wasn't prepared for the frantic "free-for-all" as people tried to prepare for the impending storm. People were waiting in line for hours to get gas, and most ended up running thier gas tanks dry and before they got to the end of the line the gas was gone, tempers flared and arguments started as people tried to position themselves to get what they could. The grocery stores that were still open had bare shelves and people were fighting over what little was left. No D batteries, bottles of water or canned good could be found anywhere. It was almost as if this metro area of 5 million had rolled up the sidewalks and been abandoned by the outside world. It was completely deserted except for the freeways heading out of town where people sat in a traffic nightmare for 15 to 30 hours to reach their destinations.

Not to say there weren't moments of decency that I witnessed. A young woman was in line to purchase one of the last rechargeable flashlights to be found when a older woman with 5 children in tow asked her where she found the light, but it was the last one. The woman handed the grandmother the flashlight and left the store. Hours later in a little mom & pop corner store, while a man was arguing with the store clerk over the price of a case of coke, a young couple was digging for change to buy a few meager sodas and chips to ride out the storm, it turned out this young couple didn't have any money because even though he had gotten his paycheck early, it was dated for Friday. the day of the Hurricane, and the bank wouldn't cash it, so a stranger stepped in and handed them a $10.00 bill. There were millions of other gestures of kindness as people offered water and food, and even gas to stranded motorists.

At the time I managed a group home and I also took care of a little old man who had no family. By the time I had prepared them to evacuate or weather out the storm, there literally wasn't anything left for me. I couldnt get gas, bottled water or even a flashlight. I chose not to leave and made the best of the situation. I filled ziplock bags with water and put them in my freezer, I managed to find a few things like a little LED reading light and a radio that ran on AA batteries. As it turns out, the storm turned east and hit the Texas/Louisiana border. I was blessed, my power never even went out, although many others were not as lucky. Even though the storm never made landfall here, it is one I will remember to the end of my days.

Anyway I am prepared for Hurricane Dean if it comes this way... I have water, batteries, gas in my car and other necessities. I wont be leaving things to chance this time. I hope others in the potential path of this storm will do the same.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

As our Eagles prepare to gather again on September 15th to soar side by side against ANSWER, Code Pink, Black Bloc and the rest of the anti war crowd, I thought I would share a look back at our first attempt to present our "support our troops and their mission" message. The following is a reprint of a letter written to the Marines of Regimental 6 deployed in Iraq from a fellow Eagle, Erin Coda. In it she shares her first Gathering of Eagles experience on March 17, 2007.

I want to let you know that, despite the discouraging words aired and printed daily by our news media, there are a great number of Americans who support both the troops and their mission, and who have pledged their faith in a thousand ways both great and small. This is the story of my experience with one such group.
In February of this year, I joined a little-known group called Gathering of Eagles (GOE), which was formed with the originial intent of protecting our monuments and memorial sites against vandalism by anti-war groups. These anti-war groups were planning a march from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Pentagon on March 17, 2007, in order to commemorate the 40th anniversary of another famous march during the Vietnam War. The anti-war event was being sponsored by a number of fringe groups with Communist or Socialist ties, such as ANSWER and World Can’t Wait. Guest speakers were to include Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan. Members of the GOE had already found postings on the Internet indicating that some of the protesters were planning to bring spray paint, etc. It was obvious that something had to be done.
That something was us.
We came in trickles, walking downhill from the Metro station to the Lincoln Memorial. We came in droves, caravanning across the United States with Move America Forward and collecting flags as we came. We flew in from as far as Hawaii and Belize. We came on foot, on motorcycles, in wheelchairs. We came in the biker leathers of Rolling Thunder and the Nam Knights, the flattened caps of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the face paint and patriotic t-shirts of hot-blooded kids, and the heavy winter coats of ordinary citizens. We stood in the mud left by the previous night’s sudden snowfall, in a sea of snapping flags in front of the GOE main stage, where veterans and Gold Star Mothers told us stories of sacrifice and honor. We stood guard by the Vietnam memorials, the Iwo Jima memorial, the gates of Arlington Cemetery. We stood in a large mob on the side of the Lincoln Memorial, shouting our resolution and our outrage back at the opposition by means both vocal and silent that we would never surrender our ideals or r country. We stood on the Memorial Bridge with our faces stinging in the icy wind, and met the signs of the marchers with thousands of American flags.
Some of us left that day knowing only a piece of the story– a shouting match with a protester here, a cold and uneventful vigil there. But soon enough the reports began to pour in. Unofficial estimates said that we– with a de-centralized command structure, a few short weeks to plan, and NO corporate sponsorship– had outnumbered the 10,000 anti-war protesters by as many as 3 to 1. (Jane Fonda, incidentally, never showed.) Several groups reported potential vandals stopped in the act by the sight of Eagles standing watch. It looked like we had indeed accomplished our mission.
And then the stories began to grow. Whispered through the ranks, stated openly in local newspapers, shouted triumphantly in blogs and online forums came the news that, for the first time, anti-war groups were beginning to face direct opposition from supporters of the U.S. troops and the War on Terror. The Communist and Socialist roots of many anti-war groups were exposed publicly and in print. In Indiana, in Hawaii, in front of the Coast Guard Academy and in Times Square– suddenly, wherever anti-war groups planned to disrespect the United States and her protectors, Eagles were there to look them in the eye. And– to put it succinctly– the opposition blinked. I don’t know how much credit we can take for things like Cindy Sheehan’s resignation or the internal crumbling of certain anti-war groups, but the fact is that they are crumbling, and we are not. Perhaps that’s because they define themselves by what they oppose, while we define ourselves by what we support.
For those of us (like myself) who have never been in the military, we are learning– possibly for the first time– what it’s really like to stand strong with our brothers and sisters, to guard our country’s assets and our buddies’ backs under harsh conditions. And while getting windburn on the Memorial Bridge is hardly a patch on what you all are going through, we bear it gladly for your sake. Like you, we sometimes reap a pile of scorn for standing up for our beliefs. And like you, we find that it often brings out the best in us. Disabled veterans travel thousands of miles to pay their respects and stand guard again after all these years. Normally inarticulate people find the words and the courage to write letters to their newspapers and their representatives. Those in hardship somehow find the means to make another trip or another donation. The timid find courage, and the courageous find strength, and the strong find solace. We do it not to glorify ourselves, but to support you, our protectors, by any means we can.
Those things– strength, courage, and solace– are what I wish for you, today and always: the strength to bear what must be borne, the courage to do what must be done, and the solace of knowing that a great number of your countrymen and -women stand with you in spirit. You are our foundation and our future. May God grant to you the blessings of a fair fight and a just outcome, and to us the grace never to let you down.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why it means so much

The other day I was asked why I was promoting Gathering of Eagles so much and did I really think we could make a difference?

The answer, of course is a resounding yes!

A Gathering of Eagles is approaching Congress on September 10, 2007 to remind them that we no longer live in a September 10th world. The attack by Muslim extremists on September 11th 2001 changed living in America forever. Right now we are engaged in a struggle with extremists in Iraq with the same terrible mindset as those who killed 3,000 innocent Americans that fateful day. For that reason alone we must remain vigilant and take advantage of this one chance at defeating this Jihad against America and regaining stability and peace in our world by allowing our military the opportunity to finish their mission.

I am not generally a pessimist, but I think this time around we will only get once chance to get this right. Just something to think about, but what kind of message are we sending by folding and coming home? If our troops are forced to come home, this will be seen as an extremist victory that will fuel more and more attacks. If we leave now, we will just be opening Pandora 's Box to a bigger set of problems than we already face, with consequences that will make September 11, 2001 look like a tea party.

Even if the reasons for entering Iraq are no longer valid in the eyes of many; it doesn’t change the fact that we are there now and we have a job to finish. We must unite behind our troops, and we must finish the mission or face the consequences. Cutting off our troops funding now makes as much sense as sending firefighters to fight a fire and then cutting off the water and telling them to go home while the building is engulfed in flames and threatening to burn down the entire block.

I know people are tired of this war, I am tired of this war, but it must be undertaken to secure our future and stability in the Middle East. We must be strong and determined to finish this. Please give the surge a chance to work. We are seeing many positive results in just a few months time, and we need a little more time to make sure that Iraq is a stable as we can possibly make it

Our troops believe in their mission, and they want to leave with their heads held high, knowing that a future generation of Iraqis and Americans will enjoy the precious fruit of freedom because of their efforts.

The reason Gathering of Eagles can make a difference is because we are uniting as a group to make our voices heard. We can counter the voices of those who protest this war with our own voices of victory, we can give our troops the moral support they need, and we can stand up for what we believe in. .

Now you have a choice. You can sit by and watch our country lose this war and let the anti war crowd speak for all of us, and give the extremists the victory they desire…. or you can join us on September 10th by either going to Washington DC or sending a letter or make a phone call urging Congress to give our troops the funding, resources, and support they need.

You can also join us on September 15th in Washington DC by telling the anti war crowd that they don’t speak for us.

The Principles of Gathering of Eagles

1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.

2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.

3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.

4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.

5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.

6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.

7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.

8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.

10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Random Thought for Today

Not finishing the mission in Iraq is like telling your local volunteer fire department, you have fought the fire long enough, you can go home now, while the structure burns to the ground. Today we have a volunteer armed forces, they serve in the United States military by choice. They are serving in Iraq by choice. They want to finish the mission. Lets give them the time and resources required to win.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Freedom - what it means is hosting an essay contest asking what freedom means to you and what would you to do protect freedom. The top 5 winners will receive a copy of Marcus Luttrell's Sole Survivor.
Anyway, here are my thoughts...

Freedom sometimes seems so abstract because we have had it so long that we take it for granted. We can go where we please or speak our minds when we feel the need to, we can practice the religion of our choice, or own a weapon if we want to. There are many things that we can do because of our freedom but it goes deeper than that. If you think about it, living without freedom wouldn’t really be living as much as it would just be existing, living without hope, without dreams, or worse yet, living in fear.

Hope is a powerful, magical thing, it is based on the faith that somehow, someway everything will work out okay. Hope is intrinsic to our ability to thrive and succeed in life. Hope is innate in all of us as Americans, because we have the freedom to hope for our future, and it is because of that freedom that we have the God given right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Hope enables us to strive for the American dream. It also enables us to be thankful for the blessings we already have, although all too often we take them for granted. I have hope that someday our world can live in peace, but I realize that as Thomas Jefferson put it so well “"From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." If we truly wish to be free, we must defend that freedom with everything we have.

Over 60 years ago Winston Churchill said, "Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case; you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." That idea applies today more than ever. If we don’t fight them now, someday soon we will be fighting them in our neighborhoods where our children play, and if they won, I would rather die and take as many of them with me. Health issues have prevented me from the honor of serving America in our military, so I do what I can to support those who have chosen this courageous path. Even so, if it ever came down to making that choice, I would freely give my life, because I never want to live in a world where there is no freedom and no hope.

Miss Give Peace a Chance

Cindy Sheehan just couldnt give up the spotlight could she? It is very sad and disgraceful that she is still using her son's death to further her political agenda. She couldn't just fade away into obscurity, she now is threatening to run for political office if the President is not impeached. Its disgusting that her hatred of our President overwhelms any common sense she might have to realize that the only way we are ever going to have peace is to win this war. A little over a month ago, I was thrilled to hear when she retired as the face of the anti war movement to spend time with her family, but it appears that perhaps her family wanted nothing more to do with her since she made such a quick comeback.
Gathering of Eagles and other organizations are working hard to let this deluded woman know she needs to go back into retirement. She has been confronted in Columbus GA, and Charlotte NC where she wouldnt even get out of her car for fear of her safety. (Give me a break, we aren't stupid like those violent anarchist thugs you let hang out with your little antiwar minions, we are just making sure another side of the story is being heard) Her next stop on this little peace train is in Virginia on July 20th and there will be people... patriots waiting for her there too. For more information please visit

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Islamic Militancy in Our Own Backyard

I often wonder what people are thinking, especially the anti war protestors when they read something like the next two articles. Are they so wrapped up in their own worlds that they dont see the big picture? Maybe its their ideology that does not allow them to see the evil in the world. Terrorism is real, its not a movie or a bad dream, it's a genuine threat that is not going away, and things are happening right here in the United States. It's scary to know that this is still happeninging on American soil, but those who have declared jihad against America will not be easily detered. They will continue to find ways to attack us, and whether we withdraw from Iraq or not may determine how we will be fighting for decades in the future, and in all likelihood we will be fighting them in our own backyards. We must have the will to fight, even when things become difficult, because the incidents in the two articles attached to this blog will become more common in the future if we do not make our stand now.
Radical Muslim paramilitary compound flourishes in upper New York state
..By Paul L. Williams Ph.D., (author of THE DAY OF ISLAM)With the able assistance of Douglas Hagmann, Bill Krayer and Michael TravisFriday, May 11, 2007

Situated within a dense forest at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains on the outskirts of Hancock, New York, Islamberg is not an ideal place for a summer vacation unless, of course, you are an exponent of the Jihad or a fan of Osama bin Laden.
The 70 acre complex is surrounded with "No trespassing" signs; the rocky terrain is infested with rattlesnakes; and the woods are home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats.
The entrance to the community is at the bottom of a very steep hill that is difficult to navigate even on a bright sunny day in May. The road, dubbed Muslim Lane, is unpaved and marred by deep crevices that have been created by torrential downpours. On a wintry day, few, save those with all terrain vehicles, could venture forth from the remote encampment.
A sentry post has been established at the base of the hill.
The sentry, at the time of this visit, is an African American dressed in Islamic garb - - a skull cap, a prayer shawl, and a loose fitting shalwat kameez. He instructs us to turn around and leave. "Our community is not open to visitors," he says.
Behind the sentry and across a small stream stand dozens of inhabitants of the compound - - the men wearing skull caps and loose fitting tunics, the women in full burqa. They appear ready to deal with any unauthorized intruders.
The hillside is blighted by rusty trailers that appear to be without power or running water and a number of outhouses. The scent of raw sewage is in the air.
The place is even off limits to the local undertaker who says that he has delivered bodies to the complex but has never been granted entrance. "They come and take the bodies from my hearse. They won't allow me to get past the sentry post. They say that they want to prepare the bodies for burial. But I never get the bodies back. I don't know what's going on there but I don't think it's legal."
On the other side of the hill where few dare to go is a tiny village replete with a make-shift learning center (dubbed the "International Quranic Open University"); a trailer converted into a Laundromat; a small, green community center; a small and rather squalid grocery store; a newly constructed majid; over forty clapboard homes; and scores of additional trailers.
It is home to hundreds - - all in Islamic attire, and all African-Americans. Most drive late model SUVs with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The locals say that some work as tollbooth operators for the New York State Thruway, while others are employed at a credit card processing center that maintains confidential financial records.
While buzzing with activity during the week, the place becomes a virtual hive on weekends. The guest includes arrivals from the inner cities of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, white-robed dignitaries in Ray-Bans from the Middle East.
Venturing into the complex last summer, Douglas Hagmann, an intrepid investigator and director of the Northeast Intelligence Service, came upon a military training area at the eastern perimeter of the property. The area was equipped with ropes hanging from tall trees, wooden fences for scaling, a make-shift obstacle course, and a firing range. Hagmann said that the range appeared to have been in regular use.
Islamberg is not as benign as a Buddhist monastery or a Carmelite convent. Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives. None of the neighbors wished to be identified for fear of "retaliation." "We don't even dare to slow down when we drive by," one resident said. "They own the mountain and they know it and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can't even do that. Who wants to buy a property near that?"
The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. "If you go there, you better wear body armor," a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. "They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body."
At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn't wish to be identified, said: "The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can't understand why the FBI won't shut it down."
Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.
Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits - - primarily inner city black men who became converts in prison - - are compelled to sign an oath that reads: "I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah's sake."
In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing book-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.
Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers' compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

The criminal charges against the group and the criminal convictions are not things of the past. In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff's deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling' and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.
By 2004 federal investigators uncovered evidence that linked both the DC "sniper killer" John Allen Muhammed and "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid to the group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.
Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity.
(Paul Williams is the author of THE AL QAEDA CONNECTION and forthcoming THE DAY OF ISLAM. Lee Boyland is the author of THE RINGS OF ALLAH).



6 charged with plot on Army post in N.J.
By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer 37 minutes ago
Six Islamic militants from Yugoslavia and the Middle East were arrested on charges of plotting to attack the Fort Dix Army post and "kill as many soldiers as possible," authorities said Tuesday.
In conversations secretly recorded by an FBI informant over the past year, the men talked about killing in the name of Allah and attacking U.S. warships that might dock in Philadelphia, according an FBI criminal complaint.
"This was a serious plot put together by people who were intent on harming Americans," U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said Tuesday. "We're very gratified federal law enforcement was able to catch these people before they acted and took innocent life."
One suspect reportedly spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades to kill at least 100 soldiers at a time, according to court documents.
"If you want to do anything here, there is Fort Dix and I don't want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit an American base very easily," suspect Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer said in one conversation secretly recorded by a government informant, according to the criminal complaint.
"It doesn't matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away," a suspect identified as Serdar Tatar said in another recorded conversation. "Or I die, it doesn't matter. I'm doing it in the name of Allah."
Another suspect, Eljvir Duka, was recorded saying: "In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone is trying attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad."
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday there is "no direct evidence" that the men had ties to international terrorism.
The FBI was tipped off in January 2006 when a shopkeeper alerted agents about a "disturbing" video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD, according to court documents. The video showed 10 men in their early 20s "shooting assault weapons at a firing range ... while calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic 'Allah Akbar' (God is great)," the complaint said.
Six of the 10 men on the tape were identified as those arrested in the plot. They were arrested Monday trying to buy automatic weapons from an FBI informant, officials said.
Christie said one of the suspects worked at Super Mario's Pizza in nearby Cookstown and delivered pizzas to the base.
"What concerns us is, obviously, they began conducting surveillance and weapons training in the woods and were discussing killing large numbers of soldiers," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd.
The six were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Camden later Tuesday to face charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. servicemen, said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey.
Four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one in Jordan and one in Turkey, officials said. All had lived in the United States for years. Three were in the country illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay permanently; the other is a U.S. citizen.
Besides Shnewer, Tatar and Eljvir Duka, the other men were identified in court papers as Dritan Duka and Shain Duka. Checks with Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that the Dukas were illegally in the U.S., according to FBI complaints unsealed with their arrests.
Five of the men lived in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb about 20 miles from Fort Dix.
"They were planning an attack on Fort Dix in which they would kill as many soldiers as possible," Drewniak said.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because documents in the case remain sealed, said the attack was stopped in the planning stages. The men also allegedly conducted surveillance at other area military institutions, including Fort Monmouth, a U.S. Army installation, the official said.
By March 2006, the group had been infiltrated by an informant who developed a relationship with Shnewer, according to court documents. The informant secretly recorded meetings in August in which Shnewer said he and the others were part of a group planning to attack a U.S. military base, the complaints said.
Shnewer named Fort Dix and a nearby Navy base, explaining that the group "could utilize six or seven jihadists to attack and kill at least one hundred soldiers by using rocket-propelled grenades" or other weapons, the complaints said. The Navy base was not named in the papers.
Fort Dix is used to train soldiers, particularly reservists. It also housed refugees from Kosovo in 1999.
The base has been closed to the public since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has heavily armed guards at entrances, yet the main road through neighboring Cookstown cuts through the base and is accessible to the public.
The description of the suspects as "Islamic militants" renewed fears in New Jersey's Muslim community. Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained by authorities in the months following the 2001 attacks, but none was connected to that plot.
"If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented many of the detainees. "But when the government says 'Islamic militants,' it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous."
"Don't equate actions with religion," he said.