MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – A federal grand jury indicted six men Tuesday on charges of plotting to kill soldiers in a raid on Fort Dix.
Prosecutors had charged the men last month with planning the attack, which was to use mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns. The assault never took place.
The suspects, all foreign-born and in their 20s, have been held without bail in a federal detention center since they were arrested May 7. They will be able to enter pleas at an arraignment this week or next.
Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, Serdar Tatar and the brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka are charged in the indictment with conspiring to kill military personnel, which is punishable by life in prison.
Dritan and Shain Duka also are charged with possession of machine guns. And all three Duka brothers are charged with possession of weapons by illegal immigrants.
A sixth man, Agron Abdullahu, is charged with providing weapons to illegal immigrants, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Investigators zeroed in on the men after a Circuit City store clerk told the FBI about footage of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad on a video they asked him to transfer to DVD.
"We intend to continue a vigorous prosecution of these defendants," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. "Anyone who would plan such an attack should expect no less."
The men's defense lawyers said Tuesday they were unable to discuss the case or their strategy because prosecutors had yet to share evidence with them. The indictments will allow a trial date to be set and defense attorneys can now ask prosecutors to begin sharing evidence.
Few previously undisclosed details of the alleged plot became known in the indictments.
Authorities said for the first time that Tatar gave two guns to a third party to hold on Aug. 1, 2006, in hopes that the guns could not be traced back to him. The rest of the indictment detailed the same story authorities told when they filed the criminal complaint almost a month ago.
The men allegedly practiced firing weapons in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and made a deal, through a paid FBI informant, to buy fully automatic weapons.
Authorities said the six scouted out East Coast military installations to find one to attack, but settled on Fort Dix largely because Tatar knew his way around from delivering pizzas to the base for his father's restaurant.