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Monday, June 07, 2010

N.J. men wanted to join terror group, authorities say


On Saturday, two young men from New Jersey were arrested at Kennedy Airport because they allegedly planned to fly to Somalia and join a terrorist group, the AP reports.

Federal authorities had been monitoring Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, for a few years. An undercover agent allegedly recorded the two men making statements about wanting to commit terrorism. They don't sound like the sharpest knives in the drawer, though:

The only weapons they possessed were two folding knives Alessa said he would use to kill police if they tried to get near him: "I'm-a cut them in half with it, even if I die," he said, according to court documents.

The authorities take cases like this very seriously. Though Alessa and Almonte are U.S. citizens of Palestinian and Dominican descent, there have been others, many of them native Somalians, who have gone to that country and trained with al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate. Some experts worry those men could be used to eventually carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

Image: A news crew outside Alessa's home. (AP Photo/Joe Epstein)


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