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Fort Dix Five Sentenced to Life in Prison

Three immigrant brothers were sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for their roles in a murky plot to kill military personnel, maybe at the Fort Dix army post in New Jersey.

If that sounds a little vague, that’s because it is: as I wrote when the brothers were convicted in December, the alleged plot to attack Fort Dix appears to have been hatched as much by an undercover FBI informer who supplied them weapons — and had an incentive to encourage the crime — as by the immigrant men themselves.

The men were acquitted of the government’s attempted murder charges.

The three Muslim brothers from Macedonia were convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges, along with two other suspects, after they talked to paid undercover informants about the idea of attacking a U.S. military base and arranged to purchase weapons from one of them.

The men were also ordered to pay $125,000 to the Army to help cover costs of Fort Dix security.

Although the judge could have allowed for the possibility of future parole in the men’s sentences, Deputy U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick argued that even though no one was hurt, parole wasn’t warranted.

“The fact that they didn’t have an opportunity to carry [the plot] out should not be a benefit,” Fitzpatrick said, according to The Associated Press.

“But for the intervention of the , at some point in the future,” the U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler agreed, these men “would have killed people.”

Yesterday, the three brothers again professed their innocence.

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