According to the NJ Star-Ledger blog last week, sometime between high school and adulthood the Ft. Dix Six became radicalized. But “some of their relatives differ, saying the men are victims of religious persecution.”

It is begun.

Here I was about to write, “Let’s hope the recent arrests don’t have the effect of upsetting millions of Albanians, so that they don’t start speaking of Albanians being unfairly targeted, which could of course make more Albanians feel they have no alternative but to become radical themselves.”

Too late. Here’s more indignation, from an AP report titled “3 in Dix plot from pro-U.S. Balkans area”:

“These are simple, ordinary people and they’ve got nothing to do with terrorism. I expect their release and I expect an apology,” [cousin Elez Duka] said, waving his hands. “I see injustice. These are ridiculous charges.”

His indignation captured the mood among Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania — places that have repeatedly expressed gratitude to the United States for intervening in the 1998-99 Kosovo war and a 2001 ethnic conflict that pushed Macedonia to the brink of civil war.

…Elez Duka [said] his cousins told him they had grown long beards and had become more devoted to Islam, but he insisted they were incapable of involvement in a terrorist plot. “They live in America and grew up in the American culture. How can you say they are anti-American? These accusations are totally unfounded,” he said.

Few ethnic Albanians embrace militant Islam. Most are moderate or secular.

That last line, present in every news item about Albanian or Bosnian Muslims, is meant to keep us on program, but as we know by now, you don’t need to be a practicing Muslim to feel aggrieved when Muslims are arrested for plotting or committing terrorism. One point I’ll be making in a forthcoming blog about the Albanian “pro-Americanism” that’s being drilled into our heads is what the news item above illustrates: Muslim pro-Americanism is a brittle thing, and I’ve written repeatedly that as soon as you deviate from their agenda, the honeymoon is over. (And Albanians are bound even more by nationalist and clan loyalties, so going against those is just as dangerous.)

Meanwhile, as I mentioned over the weekend, Albanians have already cried religious discrimination over difficulties they were having building a new mosque in Wayne, NJ.

So tread softly. Especially if you’re in the New York/New Jersey area, which has the nation’s highest concentration of Albanian resettlees with a huge base of support for the KLA (which one of the Ft. Dix suspects had been a sniper for). It’s also the American home base for the Albanian mafia:

Thousands of Albanians and others who fled the Balkans for the United States in recent years have emerged as a serious organized crime problem, threatening to displace La Cosa Nostra (LCN) families as kingpins of U.S. crime….

The Albanian criminal enterprises, operating largely in New York and other Eastern seaboard cities, represent a major challenge to federal agents because of their propensity for violence and brutality, the officials said… some of the Albanians served as enforcers in the established Mafia families for several years…Officials said ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro are included in the clans and crews that emerged in the organized crime world.

FBI officials said Russian and many other organized crime groups operating in the United States are much more sophisticated and less violent than the Albanians.

And here’s the good news:

KOSOVO: Regular Direct Flights from Prishtina to New York

YIPPEEEEE!

An agreement considered to be of special importance for Kosovo was signed between Adriatic Eagle Air and Kosova Airlines, enabling direct and regular flights from Prishtina to New York and back. Prishtina International Airport (Kosovo) will be the first airport in the region to offer direct flights to New York…The first direct flight from New York to Prishtina will take place on 13th of June 2007.

Since we seem to believe that Kosovo belongs to Albanians because they are the dominant population there, and since we again sided with Albanian terrorists in Macedonia in 2001 (via KLA spawn Albanian National Army) and Albanians have since started separatist movements in Montenegro, southern Serbia and Greece, I’m sure when the time comes, we won’t mind giving them the parts of New York where they reach a critical mass. Especially since we’ll have set a precedent in Kosovo. Heck, the state capital Albany is already named for them.