Reporter Alan Feuer, seen here last May giving respectable coverage to a convention of "Bush-caused-9-11" conspiracy nuts, went to enormous (and erroneous) pains Monday to soft-pedal the Muslim beliefs of the Fort Dix terrorist plotters in "Two Mosques Are Shaken by Ties to a Terror Plot."
"It is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the attack Mr. Shnewer and the five other men are charged with planning. (The sixth suspect, Agron Abdullahu, had no apparent connection with Al-Aqsa or the South Jersey Islamic Center.) The authorities have described the suspects as Islamic extremists, but the lengthy criminal complaint summarizing the F.B.I.'s 15-month undercover investigation of the group does not mention where - or how often - they prayed. Certainly there is no evidence that they picked up radical ideas at either mosque." Of course not.
"When the teen and another employee went into a back room and began the conversion of the tape, they saw a group of bearded men wearing 'fundamentalist attire' and shooting 'big, f-ing guns,' the teen later told co-workers.
"Throughout the 90-minute-long tape, above the booming gunfire at a Pennsylvania target range, the jihadists could be heard screaming 'God is great!'"
"That call to authorities set in motion a 16-month undercover investigation in which six of the men caught on tape chillingly discussing killing soldiers 'in the name of Allah.'"
In a related story, the Times entered a predictable plea for sympathy on Saturday's front page. Richard Jones' profile centered on the plight of a father of one of the "Fort Dix Six" terror suspects - "Fort Dix Case Empties Pizzeria Where a Father's Pain Is Double."
The paper shows while it does not put terror threats against the U.S. at the top of its priority list, it at least remains sleepless in its dedication to stomping out the hint of a possibility of a shadow of a backlash against Muslims in America.
"After the third death threat of the day, Muslim Tatar decided on Thursday to telephone a sign maker. He had an assistant dictate precisely how he wanted the big new banners to read: 'Under New Management.'
"Not that Mr. Tatar was certain he would be able to sell his beloved and suddenly beleaguered pizzeria here, Super Mario's. Not that he was even sure he wanted to. But he had to do something about the empty tables, the car honks, the nasty taunts.
"'Now, I am target,' Mr. Tatar said, standing in the deserted restaurant on Thursday afternoon. 'How do I know some kid won't come and....' Instead of finishing the sentence, he raised the thumb of his right hand and jabbed his forefinger, riddling the air with invisible bullets.
"Everything has changed for Mr. Tatar since the authorities arrested his 23-year-old son, Serdar, along with five others they described as radical Islamists, on charges of plotting to attack the Fort Dix military reservation, and said that Super Mario's was where they obtained a map of the base.
"Federal prosecutors said there were no indications that the elder Mr. Tatar had any idea about the plot, and the father said he and his son had grown largely estranged in recent years as Serdar's religious zealotry increased."
"Mr. Tatar, 54, came to New Jersey from Ankara, Turkey, in 1992, and worked his way up from dishwasher. Five years ago he had saved enough to buy the restaurant, where four trophies for the military softball teams he has sponsored rest on a windowsill, and a sign by the cash register advertises free newborn kittens. Suddenly, he faces two nightmares. There is the possibility of losing his son to a life sentence in prison, and of seeing his livelihood vanish in blame for the terror plot - blame that by all accounts appears to be misplaced."
Jones didn't add the quote Tatar gave the Newark Star-Ledger about the terror charges against his son, which may have madeTatar appearless sympathetic: "It's persecution, religious persecution. Nothing more.''