The Turkish father of one of the six men charged with plotting to massacre soldiers at Fort Dix says the business near the base that he has nurtured for years is all but ruined since his son's arrest.
Muslim Tatar, who has owned Super Mario's Pizza for five years, said his lunchtime crowd from nearby McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix has largely disappeared, replaced by empty tables and nasty words from passing motorists.
"Now I am a target," the 52-year-old Tatar said, adding that his business is "99 percent dead."
Tatar's son, 23-year-old Serdar Tatar, was arrested Monday along with five others. Authorities say the men were preparing to buy automatic weapons to use in an attack on Fort Dix when they were arrested. They targeted the Army post, which is 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Philadelphia and primarily used to train reservists, partly because one of them had delivered pizzas there and was familiar with the base, according to court filings. Authorities said their objective was to kill "as many American soldiers as possible."
Five of the men are charged with conspiring to kill uniformed military personnel, an offense punishable by life in prison. A sixth is charged with helping illegal immigrants obtain weapons, and could face 10 years in prison if convicted. All six defendants are being held without bail.
In Venice, Italy, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told The Associated Press that the arrests were a "vivid example of" the terror threats facing the world. He declined to comment further on the case, saying it was ongoing.
Some pizzeria workers quit
Since authorities announced the arrests on Tuesday, a cook and two waitresses quit the restaurant out of fear they would be targeted, said Warren Cline, another cook at the pizzeria.
"Normally we'd be almost full. People liked this place, and Tatar is a very friendly owner," Cline told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Saturday's newspapers. "But people drive by, they give us the finger."
Cline said delivery business is also hurting since the restaurant can no longer bring food to Fort Dix or McGuire Air Force Base.
Federal authorities say there is no evidence that the elder Tatar knew of his son's plot, and Muslim Tatar said their relationship had waned in recent years, as his son had fallen in with what he described as a bad crowd.