Men Arrested at JFK Airport Sought al-Qaida Training to Kill Americans

June 7, 2010 05:33

Federal authorities unsealed charges against two New Jersey men arrested at JFK Airport in New York City as they allegedly tried to join an Al Qaeda-linked group in war-torn Somalia and kill Americans there. The men were inspired by the same American-born cleric linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the failed Times Square bombing attempt.


Two New Jersey men who talked about attacking Americans and sought to fight alongside terrorists in Somalia were arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport as they tried to leave the U.S. and join the al-Qaida-affiliated jihadists, authorities said.

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 26, were arrested Saturday before they could board separate flights to Egypt and then continue on to Somalia, federal officials in New Jersey and New York Police Department said in a news release.

The men were inspired at least in part by Omar Hammami, the Alabama-born face of the Somalia-based terrorist group, and Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born cleric now hiding in Yemen who has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings, the Christmas Day bombing attempt and the failed Times Square car bomb plot, reported Fox News, who quoted federal prosecutors.

They had been under investigation since 2006. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said they had traveled to Jordan in 2007 and tried to get into Iraq, but were turned back.

During the lengthy investigation, an NYPD undercover officer recorded conversations with the men in which they spoke about jihad against Americans.


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