Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fort Dix plot

One of the keys to the alleged terror plot at Fort Dix is a family tragedy in the making:
One of the suspects, Tatar, worked at his father's pizzeria — Super Mario's Restaurant — in Cookstown and made deliveries to the base, using the opportunity to scout out Fort Dix for an attack, authorities said.

"Clearly, one of the guys had an intimate knowledge of the base from having been there delivering pizzas," Christie said.

Tatar's father, Muslim Tatar, 54, said the accusations against his son were hard to accept.

"He is not a terrorist. I am not a terrorist," he told The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The elder Tatar told ABCNews he had gotten no indication his son harbored a deep hatred of the United States.

"I came here from Turkey in 1992, and this is my country. I love this country," Muslim Tatar told ABC.
It is common among second generation immigrants to feel out of place in their country and to embrace everything that they perceive as belonging to their old country--especially when their parents are so eager to leave their old country behind and embrace their new country. Of course, the second generation--either born here or growing up here--often has a limited grasp of what constitutes the culture, traditions, and religious attitudes of their old country.

It says something profound that the suspect Tatar appears to have embraced fundamentalist islamic extremism. It suggests a severe disconnect between father and son. What we see in this newspaper narrative is the outline of a deep and jagged father-son dynamic--one where both participants have different hopes and dreams, where the son feels awash and alien in this country, and where the two lost the ability to communicate.