NEWARK - Two New Jersey men have pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder individuals overseas on behalf of a foreign terrorist group operating in Somalia.

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte entered into a packaged plea deal in a Newark federal courtroom this morning.

They admitted to conspiring to kill, maim and kidnap persons outside the United States by trying to join al-Shabab, a designated terrorist organization. The two were arrested in June at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and admitted they were headed for Somalia.

Alessa, 21, of North Bergen, was born in the United States and is the son of Palestinian immigrants. Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, is a naturalized citizen who was born in the Dominican Republic. Both are Muslim.

The charges could carry sentences of up to life in prison, but under the terms of the plea agreement, the men could only face 15 - 30 years at their sentencing in June.

NJ men accused in terror plot are denied bail 2 NJ men arrested on terrorism charges NJ high school: Terror suspect was dangerous North Bergen H.S.: Terror suspect was considered dangerous 2 NJ terror suspects to be arraigned