Terror suspect scrawls violent graffiti in cell, U.S. says

Federal prosecutors say one of the Fort Dix Six suspects drew pictures suggesting that he wanted to attack the FBI.

Posted: June 19, 2007

Agron Abdullahu, one of the Fort Dix Six, scratched graffiti into the door of his jail cell that included an AK-47 assault rifle firing bullets at the letters "FBI," prosecutors charged yesterday.

They said he also etched the name of a town in Kosovo, his homeland, along with an Albanian acronym for the Kosovo Liberation Army, which prosecutors called a paramilitary organization with a history of war crimes.

"The subject matter of the etchings alone is disturbing at best, and at worst demonstrates the volition of an individual predisposed to violence," prosecutors wrote in a brief filed in federal court in Camden yesterday.

The brief, which includes pictures of the etchings, was filed in response to a motion from Abdullahu's attorney asking the court to reconsider its decision to hold Abdullahu without bail.

Abdullahu was one of six men arrested May 7 as part of a federal terrorism investigation. Five of the men were charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix in the hopes of killing soldiers there. They face life in prison if convicted.

Abdullahu, 24, of Buena Vista Township, Atlantic County, was charged with helping three of those suspects acquire weapons. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted. He was not charged with being a part of the plot to attack Fort Dix.

All six men pleaded not guilty last week.

Abdullahu's attorney, Lisa Evans Lewis, said in her motion for bail that Abdullahu credits this country with saving his life and keeping his family together.

Abdullahu's family escaped the war and ethnic cleansing of their native Kosovo by walking more than 30 miles to a refugee camp in what is now Macedonia, she wrote. They won a lottery to come to the United States, arriving through Fort Dix in 1999.

Abdullahu told his attorney that he never would have harmed this country because his family was "eternally grateful to the United States."

Despite that argument, a judge denied Lewis' first motion for bail in May. More than a week later, prison guards at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia discovered the etchings in Abdullahu's cell after removing him for a legal visit.

Abdullahu admitted to making the etchings, prosecutors said in their brief, but he would not elaborate on the Albanian acronym "UCK." Prosecutors said that etching "evinces a loyalty to an ethnic Albanian paramilitary organization."

The brief also said that a metal light-switch cover in Abdullahu's cell was missing a screw, which was found on the top bunk. A corner of the light switch cover had been filed down and "could easily be used as a weapon," the brief said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on the brief, and Lewis did not return a phone message late yesterday seeking comment.

In the brief, prosecutors said that releasing Abdullahu would endanger not only the community but also the FBI agents who investigated the case.

"Abdullahu had plenty of time on his hands in his prison cell to think about the situation in which he found himself," the brief said. "Abdullahu's thoughts clearly turned to seeking revenge against the FBI agents who caused him to be imprisoned in the first place."


Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 856-779-3893 or tgraham@phillynews.com.

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