Two American citizens were arrested yesterday at New York's JFK airport. The young men from New Jersey, both in their 20s, had been under surveillance since 2006. Law enforcement laid low, gathered evidence and waited until this weekend when the two men were trying to board separate flights to Egypt, and then to Somalia where they were allegedly planning to join al-Shabab, a terrorist group allied with al-Qaida.
Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in New Jersey today to face charges of conspiring to kill, maim and kidnap persons outside the United States. They face life in prison if convicted. Alessa was born in the United States to Palestinian parents. Almonte was born in the Dominican Republic.
WNYC's Bob Hennelly tells us about this nearly four-year investigation that involved an undercover agent and even a member of Almonte's family, according to the complaint.