CAMDEN, N.J. – Before a packed gallery at the U.S. Courthouse in Camden on Friday, a magistrate judge ordered six men charged with plotting to murder Fort Dix soldiers to be held without bail. Afterward, their lawyers said they would plead not guilty.
The six, whose only visitors since their arrest Monday have been lawyers, searched for familiar faces as they shuffled into the courtroom, wearing green jumpsuits, pink slippers and leg irons.
About 30 friends and family waved. Most of the defendants smiled and waved back. Throughout the hour-long proceeding, women wearing hijabs cried.
Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Stephan Stigall called the evidence in the case “very strong.”
In particular, the prosecutor described Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a 22-year-old Philadelphia cabbie, as a leader. Agents searching his home on Monday found a map of the Army base there, said Stigall.
Stigall said Shnewer “tried to recruit the others” and performed surveillance of the Fort Monmouth military base, also in New Jersey, by himself. In recorded conversations, the prosecutor said, Shnewer “stated his intent to kill” U.S. soldiers.
Outside of court, defense lawyers said that they have not yet seen most of the prosecution evidence in the case, and urged the public not to jump to conclusions.