NJ Men Held for Trying to Join Jihadist Group

Monday, June 07, 2010

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities arrested two New Jersey men at John F. Kennedy airport on Sunday before they boarded flights to Egypt en route to Somalia. Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte were charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism for making their way to Somalia to join an alleged jihadist group.

State and federal law enforcement agents say they have been investigating Alessa and Almonte since 2006. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Alessa, of North Bergen, and Almonte, of Elmwood Park, tried to enter Iraq on a 2007 trip to Jordan, but both were denied entry at the Jordanian-Iraqi border.

The New Jersey men are scheduled to appear in Newark's federal court on Tuesday.

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