Two young New Jersey men are scheduled to appear in federal court in Newark Monday morning on charges of trying to join a terrorist group.
The two were arrested Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport before they could board separate flights to Egypt, where they hoped to continue on to Somalia to join the terrorist group al-Shabab, a militant organization with links to Al Qaeda.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 21, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 23, had gone to Jordan in 2007. From there, they tried to get into Iraq but were turned back.
"It's a cause for concern," Kelly told reporters during a press conference on Sunday.
"It's not unlike other cases that we've seen recently where individuals who express an interest to do 'jihad' go overseas and then are turned around" and "come back to attempt acts of violence in the United States," he said, citing other high-profile cases, like Najibullah Zazi and Faisal Shahzad, both charged with plotting separate acts of terror inside the United States.