New York, June 6 (PTI): Two young Americans, who were on their way to Somalia to train under a terror group that has links with al Qaida and planned to attack American soldiers there, were arrested today at a New York airport.
Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, who were arrested before they could board separate flights to Egypt, had planned to train under the extremist group al Shabaab and then attack American troops in Somalia, the FBI said.
The duo, however, had no plans of carrying out attacks in New York or New Jersey, the FBI added. Alessa and Almonte are both from New Jersey.
Two individuals were arrested at JFK airport in connection with an ongoing investigation. At this time, we can provide no further details because the investigation is ongoing. The arrests do not relate to an immediate threat, said Jose Lozano, a spokesperson for the state office of homeland security and preparedness.
The two have been charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism and will appear in a New Jersey district court tomorrow. If convicted, they could be jailed for life.
The extremist group, al Shabaab, is fighting the western-backed Transitional Federal Government in Somalia and controls large swathes of territory in that country.
The arrests come a month after an American citizen of Pakistani origin, Faisal Shahzad, attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, New York.