MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – It all began on a frigid January day with 10 bearded Muslim men huddled in the parking lot of a Circuit City debating who would go inside to have a copy made of a tape showing them firing guns and praising jihad.
Eventually, the group — who'd been seen standing outside earlier that January 2006 week — selected two men to go inside while the rest waited in the parking lot, an employee who was outside smoking at the time recalled.
Once inside, the two men approached the television section of the electronics store where videos could be transferred to DVD and copies could be made.
They handed the teenage clerk a mini-cassette tape from a camcorder and asked for a $20 transfer to be made to DVD. As they waited, the two men calmly walked around the store looking at televisions, video games and DVDs.
What they didn't know was that they had sealed their ultimate fate.
When the teen and another employee went into a back room and began the conversion of the tape, they saw a group of bearded men wearing "fundamentalist attire" and shooting "big ... guns," the teen later told co-workers.
Throughout the 90-minute-long tape, above the booming gunfire at a Pennsylvania target range, the jihadists could be heard screaming "God is great!"
The two employees "freaked out," their co-worker recalled.