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Fort Dix Terror plotters' commitment to ideology is issue on Big Story, not ability to get weapons

Reported by Chrish - May 8, 2007 -

The story was still developing at the time of the Big Story's airing today 5/8/07 and reports were trickled in from FOX's Catherine Herridge and Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend. Dr. Walid Phares was brought in to discuss the seriousness of this incident. As the author of a couple of books on the topic, he predictably took it as a grave threat and went so far as to compare it to flying planes into towers.

The quick story was that six foreign-born men, at least three here illegally (yes, O'Reilly was beside himself tonight) apparenlty found one another on the Internet and were plotting to attack Fort Dix, and Dover AFB and the Philadelphia Coast Guard station were also "mentioned." They had maps and had done reconnaissance and were in the process of trying to buy weapons. Their mistake was in bringing a videotape to a store to have it burned onto a DVD. The clerk was alarmed at the tape and called police, who alerted the FBI, who inserted informants into the cell. Herridge editorialized that it was "astonishing" that one of the men's family's had a pizza delivery service, and they scoped out security procedures at Fort Dix this way.

Phares, asked if it was amateur hour or really serious, answered "John, any form of jihad is serious. Pizza jihad, or slamming a jet into the building, (said with a curious half-smile), it's jihad, the same ideology." A lot of issues are being explored: are they homegrown or international? Legal or illegal? but the most important issue is that they are jihadists, and this is the tip of the iceberg. He referenced the case in Miami and another in Virginia and one in Canada, and warned that we'll see more of this - it's not a war with sophisticated terrorists, they're terrorists, period. They are "infantry, not in touch with the mother ship and not cells of Al Qaeda," and there are shades of terrorists.

Gibson asked if it would have been that easy for the plotters to get RPGs and mortars in this country? Phares dismissed this question, saying "Well look, we have a lot of flow of weapons in this country - but that's not the issue. The fact that they are determined to use those weapons, they have a plan, they are a unit in an army where all units don't know each other, they all look at what bin Laden is doing and follow through."

Comment: And that was the end of that. We who favor restrictions on weapons of mass death being available to our deranged fellow citizens and/or illegal neighbors are thinking, well, they can plot all they want, but if they can't get the weapons, what's the harm? But someone, somewhere, is willing to turn a blind eye to make a buck. I'm not against people having hunting weapons or guns in their homes for self-defense, but really - RPGs? Mortars? Let's put some Homeland Security forces on finding the purveyors of these weapons and shut them down, in accordance with the "well-regulated" in the Second Amendment. It might not be the issue for Dr. Phares (who has books to sell) but it is undeniably part of the problem.

Maybe tomorrow Gibson will host someone with that point of view. Riiight.