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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Duka Dad: terror plotter sons "pure as a babe's innocence" -father threatened to attack school principal when boys were younger

Duka Dad: terror plotter sons "pure as a babe's innocence" -father threatened to attack school principal when boys were younger

June 13, 2007

MIM: According to one account the Dukas were more babes with arms then "pure as a babes innocence"

'Incredibly disruptive'

The Duka brothers arrived in the United States around 1984 by way of Mexico, said Michael Huff, the lawyer for Dritan, the oldest.

They spent time in Texas, then moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., before settling in Cherry Hill in 1996. Shain and Eljvir attended Cherry Hill High School West, but did not graduate.

Last week, George Munyan, an assistant high school principal at the time, described Shain and Eljvir as "incredibly disruptive" and recalled that their father, Ferik, once threatened to attack a principal after being called to the school because of Eljvir's behavior. Police were summoned to remove the father, Munyan said.

Munyan, who retired in September, said he frequently had disciplined Eljvir for disrupting or cutting class and generally challenging authority.

But when they met privately, he said, Eljvir was very confident, charming and articulate.

Munyan said Eljvir had spoken proudly of being Muslim, but "never came across as being involved in any religious or political extremism."

The Duka family is part of an extended clan of ethnic Albanians who trace their origins to a small town not far from the border with the troubled former Serbian province of Kosovo.

And while some friends remember Shain and Eljvir as funny and happy-go-lucky while working at an uncle's pizza shop in Pennsauken several years ago, Shain and Dritan presented an entirely different image two years ago while selling a pizza shop they owned in Washington Township.

"Surly" and "arrogant" were the words Mario Giordano used to describe the brothers, from whom, he said, he bought what is now Tony Soprano's Pizza in 2005.

"This place was a rat trap when I bought it," said Giordano, a former Camden police officer. "Very ugly. I don't think they did any business. It was horrible."

Giordano remembered one other thing about the bearded brothers.

"They would always have the Koran out," he said. "I thought that was unusual. I'm a Catholic, and I don't keep the Bible open."


Father asserts sons' innocence in Ft. Dix plot, cares for grandchildren


CHERRY HILL - The father of three men charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix asserted his sons' innocence Wednesday, the day before an arraignment scheduled for Thursday.

"They are pure as a babe's innocence," said Ferik Duka, the father of Eljvir Duka, 23, Dritan Duka, 28, and Shain Duka, 26, all charged last month with plotting to attack American military bases, including Fort Dix.

Also charged were Muhammad Shnewer, 22, of Cherry Hill, and Serdar Tatar, 23, of Philadelphia. If convicted, the men could face life in prison, attorneys have said.

Another man, Agron Abdullahu, of Buena Vista, was charged with supplying the men with weapons.

The hearing Thursday is expected to be brief, officials said. It may simply deal with scheduling for future court appearances.

Prosecutors say the men were acting independent of any international terrorist organization, but were driven by fundamentalist Islam to plan the attacks. An investigation into the men began when the FBI received information of a video the men made showing them firing weapons and talking about jihad, or holy war.

Staff at a restaurant owned by Tatar's father said the father didn't want to be interviewed.

Shnewer's family couldn't be reached Wednesday.

Ferik Duka, an ethnic Albanian who moved to this country from Macedonia in 1984, said the evidence isn't enough to sway him to believe his sons plotted against the United States. The Dukas were essentially raised in this country. They moved to New Jersey in 1996. At the time of their arrest, they were operating a roofing company.

Albanians are traditionally very fond of the United States because this country intervened in Kosovo in 1999, where Serbians persecuting the Albanian population there.

"We love this country," Ferik Duka said repeatedly as he stood in the doorway of his Cherry Hill home surrounded by young, curly-haired children.

They're his grandchildren, the children of the sons now in a federal detention facility. He's raising the seven children now, ranging in age from toddlers to a 9-year-old, he said.

He hasn't been able to visit his sons in jail, he said. But he's received letters from them.

"They're doing alright," he said when asked about their condition.

Whether inmates in federal custody can receive visitors depends on the facility holding them, Mike Schroeder, spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Office of New Jersey, said.

Duka believes spies trying to further their careers framed his sons.

Currently, his focus is on family, he said.

"I'm taking care of my grandchildren," he said.

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