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Respect for da Garden State: Banner yet waves o'er Ft. Dix

May 8, 2007 |  9:43 am

It's one thing when Islamic militants conspire in Jersey City, but when they get all the way down to Burlington County, nobody is safe. The Trentonian, my favorite New Jersey newspaper, runs an alert as Fort Dix military base adjusts to news that a group of alleged Islamists planned to shoot the old place up in what sounds like a fairly crackpot scheme. The Washington Post has some details:

Greg Reinert, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, said that four of the men are from Albania, one is from Jordan and one is from Turkey...

The suspects had been discussing the plot during the past year and had gone as far as conducting training in the Pocono mountains, WNBC reported on its Web site.

Before settling on Fort Dix, the group had scouted several other possible military targets, the station said, including the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and New Jersey's Fort Monmouth.

As a South Jersey story, this one has it all: pine barrens, Cherry Hill and a pizza-delivery angle. It's with mingled gladness and dismay that I learn the sylvan Army base is not—as I'd thought years agoclosed, but still lingering like its neighbors McGuire Air Force Base and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station. Indeed, in the most densely populated state in the Union, Dix provides a capacious 10 acres per employee. How half a dozen alleged attackers thought they could launch a serious attack on such a large tract is an open question. Fortunately, the assault on Fort Dix remains in the realm of the hypothetical.

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