24 Dec 2008

Five convicted of plot to attack US army base

6:10 am on 24 December 2008

A federal jury in the United States has found five men guilty of conspiring to kill US soldiers at an army base in New Jersey.

The five foreign-born nationals were acquitted on charges of attempted murder.

Jurors returned their verdicts on Monday after an eight-week trial.

The prosecution described the plot as a bid to wage jihad against the United States.

Acting US Attorney Ralph Marra said prosecutors will press for life sentences without the possibility of parole. Sentencing was set for 22-23 April. Defence lawyers said they would consider an appeal after sentencing.

The men were arrested in May 2007 after a 14-month investigation in which two people working for the FBI infiltrated the group and obtained audio and video recordings of the men plotting an attack.

The probe was launched when an electronics store clerk went to the police after being asked by one of the men to copy a tape containing scenes of militants firing guns into the air.

As well as planning to attack Fort Dix, prosecutors said the men discussed attacks on other military targets, including Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and the US Coast Guard in Philadelphia.