Feds: Base plot suspect threatens FBI

Published on June 19, 2007, The Associated Press

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

By GEOFF MULVIHILL Associated Press Writer

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Drawings found in the prison cell of a man suspected of plotting to attack Fort Dix suggest that he wants to seek revenge against FBI agents and should remain in custody, prosecutors said Monday.

The drawings — include one with the letters "FBI" and a gun pointing to them — are another reason that Agron Abdullahu should not be released from custody as he awaits trial, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in legal documents filed Monday.

Abdullahu seemed to be thinking about "seeking revenge against the FBI agents who caused him to be imprisoned in the first place," they wrote. "Releasing Abdullahu now would not only endanger the community at large, but also the agents who investigated this case."

Guards at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia found the FBI drawing and another in the one-person cell where Abdullahu is being held.

The other drawing was of the phrase — "Rainca Kosava UCK." Prosecutors contend that it refers to the Kosovo Liberation Army, which they say has links to some terrorist groups. Authorities said Abdullahu admitted to drawing the graffiti and explained that "Rainca" was the town where he was born.

The government said the drawings were etched with the screw from a light switch plate onto the door of Abdullahu's cell.

Abdullahu was arrested, along with five other men on May 7.

The other five were accused of conspiring to kill soldiers — a crime punishable by life in prison. Abdullahu, a 24-year-old baker, was charged with providing guns to illegal aliens, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Like three of the other suspects, he is an ethnic Albanian who was born in the former Yugoslavia. He arrived in the United States as a teenager in 1999 after leaving war-torn Kosovo and being airlifted from neighboring Macedonia.

The federal public defender representing him, Lisa Evans Lewis, argued last month that he should be freed on bail because he has a responsibility to his parents and younger sisters and because he was not willing to go along with a plot to kill soldiers.

In an unusual move, Abdullahu himself testified at the bail hearing. At one point, he told the judge: "I would never do anything to harm this country."

Federal Magistrate Joel Schneider rejected those arguments, and tearful pleas from his family. Schneider said he would rule on an appeal this week.

The drawings were found more than a week after the initial denial of bail.

Lewis, who generally does not speak to reporters, did not return an after-hours call to her office. Greg Reinert, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said his office would not elaborate on the government filing.

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