5th plotter of Fort Dix attack gets 33 years

/ Source: The Associated Press

The fifth man convicted of plotting to kill military personnel at Fort Dix in New Jersey has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Serdar Tatar, 25, a Philadelphia convenience store clerk, had less involvement in the plot than the four other convicted men. Those four received life sentences in hearings over the last two days.

Tatar's main role was providing a map of Fort Dix. He got it from his father's pizza shop near the Army installation in New Jersey.

Tatar's lawyer argued that he should get a lighter sentence than the others. U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler said Wednesday that Tatar lacked the religious fervor of the others and could be rehabilitated in prison.

Earlier, the judge sentenced Mohamad Shnewer, 24, to life in prison. He was heard repeatedly on tapes made by an FBI informant talking about attacking the United States.

The Jordanian-born Shnewer told the judge that he talked like a jihadist, but didn't have what it takes to be one. The judge called him the "epicenter of the conspiracy" and sentenced him to life plus 30 years in prison.

A jury convicted Shnewer and four others in December.

Three brothers, who are ethnic Albanians from the former Yugoslavia, received life sentences Tuesday.

During the October, 2008 trial, federal prosecutors said the men were inspired by al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden to attack the Army training base in New Jersey and presented the case as one of the most frightening examples of homegrown terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Authorities said that in 2006 and 2007 the men turned paintball games into terrorist training sessions and met to discuss a plot to sneak into Fort Dix, used primarily to train reservists for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. No attack was carried out.