New Jersey: Jihadists Arrested at JFK Airport For Conspiring To Commit Islamic Terrorist Acts

(Daily News) Two New Jersey men tied to an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia were busted Saturday night as they prepared to board flights at Kennedy Airport, officials said.

The two men had been under surveillance since 2006 and were being shadowed by an undercover NYPD cop who infiltrated their group and monitored them as they bought airplane tickets, the Star-Ledger reported Saturday night, citing authorities.

Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 26, of Elmwood Park, were both nabbed before they could board separate flights to Egypt.

"I can only confirm that two arrests were made Saturday night at JFK Airport as part of an ongoing investigation," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne

A team of FBI agents and NYPD officers showed up at Alessa's parents' home around 10:30 Saturday night. A half hour later, another group of agents descended on Almonte's home, the Star-Ledger reported.

The two were planning to hook up with a Somalia-based terror group called Al Shabaad, which has ties to Al Qaeda and operates in the southern region of the African country, authorities said.

Jose Lozano, a spokesman for the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, said, "Two individuals were arrested at JFK 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."

The arrests follow Faisal Shahzad's attempt to set off a car bomb in Times Square last month and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Alessa and Almonte are scheduled to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark.

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