Jihadists or dupes? Fort Dix terror trial opens

Defense attorneys, in statements that stretched over nearly three hours, offered a decidedly different picture.

Their clients, they said, were young men who had been manipulated by paid government informants into a conspiracy they had no intention of carrying out.

"He talked the talk, but was never going to walk the walk," Rocco Cipparone Jr. said of his client, lead defendant Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer.

Cipparone and the other defense attorneys challenged both the credibility and motivation of the two key government witnesses, Mahmoud Omar and Besnik Bakalli.

Both, he said, were "lifelong criminals" who had reasons to create a conspiracy where none existed.

Omar, an Egyptian national and convicted felon, was paid $238,000 by the FBI while working the case, Cipparone said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another frame-up about to collapse?

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