CAMDEN, N.J., April 28 (Reuters) - A Muslim Albanian was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for a plot to kill soldiers on a U.S. army base, which prosecutors said was inspired by the idea of holy war against the United States.
Dritan Duka and his brothers Shain and Eljvir Duka, who ran a roofing business in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, were among five foreign-born Muslims convicted in December of planning an armed attack at Fort Dix, about 40 miles (64 km) east of Philadelphia.
"The evidence was overwhelming as to the guilt of this defendant," U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler said in sentencing Duka to life plus 30 years in prison.
"He showed not even the slightest bit of remorse for what he has done nor what he has put his beautiful children through," the judge said. "There is no question in my mind that were he free, he would continue on this route. This is a very rare crime."
Duka, an illegal immigrant who was wearing a green prison tunic and was shackled at his ankles and wrists, read aloud a statement in English in which he said he was innocent and that he was the victim of a conspiracy by the U.S. government.
Shain Duka was to be sentenced later on Tuesday.
Eljvir Duka, along with the other two convicted men, Mohamad Shnewer, a Jordanian-born taxi driver from Philadelphia and Serdar Tatar, a convenience store clerk born in Turkey, were slated to be sentenced later.
During an eight-week trial, prosecutors called the men "radical Islamists" and said they discussed killing as many soldiers as possible in their planned attack, which was never carried out.
Defense attorneys argued that the men may have used the language of jihad but had neither the intention nor capability of carrying out the attack.
They were arrested in May 2007 after a 14-month investigation in which two people working for the FBI infiltrated the group and obtained hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings.
The probe was launched when an electronics store clerk went to the police after being asked by one of the men to copy a tape containing scenes of militants firing guns into the air. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and David Storey)
Albanian immigrant gets life in plot to hit US base | Reuters