2 NJ men arrested on terrorism charges

Two New Jersey men who talked about attacking Americans and sought to fight alongside terrorists in Somalia were arrested at New York's Kennedy Airport. They were about to leave the U.S. and join the al-Qaida-affiliated jihadists, authorities said.

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, were arrested Saturday before they could board separate flights to Egypt and then to Somalia, federal officials said.

The two men had been under investigation since 2006. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said they had traveled to Jordan and tried to get into Iraq, but were turned back by their would-be recruiters.

Authorities credit an undercover NYPD investigator who posed as a devout Muslim with helping expose two would-be terrorists.

Alessa and Almonte face charges of conspiring to kill, maim, and kidnap persons outside the United States by joining al-Shabab. State and federal law enforcement agents who have been investigating the men took them into custody, authorities said.

The two suspects were arraigned yesterday in U.S. District Court in Newark. Both remain in custody pending a bail hearing Thursday. If convicted, they could face life in prison

Click NEXT to see an interview with Hemmant Sha, the landlord of suspected terrorist Mohamed Mahmood Alessa.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."