Two New Jersey men intent on killing American troops were arrested Saturday as they boarded flights to link up with a virulent jihadist group in Somalia, authorities said.
The men, both North Jersey residents, were charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism through a group tied to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, according to officials familiar with the details of the arrests.
Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, and Carlos Eduardo “Omar” Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park were apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens before they could board separate flights to Egypt, where they were to start journeys to Somalia. The men were arrested by teams of state and federal law-enforcement agents who have been investigating the pair since October 2006, according to the officials, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the operation publicly.
The arrests were the culmination of Operation Arabian Knight. Details were still sketchy Saturday night, but authorities said the suspects have been under surveillance for some time and were being shadowed by an undercover New York City cop who managed to infiltrate their circle of friends and keep tabs as they consumed jihadist videos and literature, bought airline tickets and prepared to travel overseas.
Officials said the suspects were not planning an imminent attack in the New Jersey-New York area but were believed to be joining with the terrorist fight against Americans in Somalia.
Authorities said the men planned to wage jihad as part of a Somalia-based Islamist terror group called al Shabaab, an organization of several thousand fighters spread through Somalia’s southern region. Al Shabaab, whose full Arabic name means “Mujahideen Youth Movement,” has had ties to al Qaeda since 2007, according to national security experts.
Sounds like this break in the GWOT was inherited.
Yes indeed. Since approximately the time of the Fort Dix Six investigation.