The six men charged in a plot to attack U.S. soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in the eastern U.S. state of New Jersey have been ordered held without bail at a court hearing.
Prosecutors in U.S Distinct Court in the New Jersey city of Camden argued that the men, all born outside the United States, pose a flight risk and should be kept in custody. Five of the men consented to be held in custody, only one had asked to be released on bail.
Three of the six suspects 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 brothers are Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka. All three are illegal immigrants.
Another of the suspects was also born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Turkey and the other in Jordan. The men range in age from 22 to 28 years old.
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said there is no evidence that the six men were directly connected to any international terrorist groups, but he believes they were inspired by them and other jihadist groups.
Officers arrested the men late Monday after they tried to buy automatic weapons from a gunseller who was secretly working with federal authorities.
Christie said the FBI had been investigating the group for 16 months after a citizen gave them information about their activities. 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 and Reuters.