Two New Jersey men who allegedly intended to kill American troops were arrested yesterday at John F. Kennedy International Airport before boarding flights to join a jihadist group in Somalia, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 26, were charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism through al-Shabaab, a violent extremist group based in Somalia and connected to al-Qaeda.
Teams of state and federal law-enforcement agents who have been investigating Alessa and Almonte since 2006 took them into custody. They are scheduled to appear tomorrow in federal court in Newark. Authorities said an undercover NYPD officer had infiltrated the suspects' group of friends and was able to monitor their consumption of jihadist videos and literature, overseas travel preparations, and purchase of airline tickets. Officials said the two men were not planning an imminent attack in the New York area. Both are American citizens. (Read more JFK Airport stories.)