Three of the six men who were arrested and charged with plotting to attack U.S. soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey are ethnic Albanian brothers born in Macedonia.
Relatives of the three brothers interviewed in their hometown of Debar, a remote town on Macedonia's border with Kosovo, expressed anger and disbelief that the three would want to attack the United States. The relatives said they are all thankful to America for its support during the wars in Kosovo and Macedonia. The brothers are Dritan Duka, Shain Duka and Eljvir Duka. All three were illegal immigrants.
Another of the suspects was also born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Turkey and the other in Jordan.
The six men are facing charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. servicemen in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, Authorities say they were planning to enter the army base and kill as many soldiers as possible using automatic weapons.
At a news conference Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said there is no evidence that the six men were directly connected to any international terrorist group, but he believes they were inspired by international terrorist and jihadist groups. Christie said he believes the men had their own cell, and that it represents a new kind of terrorism. He said they were "extremists."
Police arrested the men late Monday after they tried to buy automatic weapons from a gunseller who was secretly working with federal authorities. It was a joint federal and local investigation.
Christie said the FBI had been investigating the group for 16 months after a citizen gave them information. Christie said the group had videotaped their practice sessions, where they were shouting jihadist slogans and shooting assault weapons, and brought the video to a retail store to get it converted to a DVD. A store employee alerted authorities and that sparked the investigation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.