The 21st Century Phenomenon



A published report, on Sunday 06/06/2010, said two men, Mohamed Hamoud Alessa (R), 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte (L) (pic), 24, allegedly on their way to join a jihadist group in Somalia have been arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. They were arrested on Saturday 06/05/2010.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported the two New Jersey men allegedly intended to kill American troops and were trying to board separate flights to Egypt on their way to Somalia. 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, known as operation “Arab Knights”. (see also – Minneapolis Network).

The FBI and the New York Police Department confirm two arrests at the airport. Mohamed Hamoud Alessa was born in Jersey City, USA to a family from Palestinian descent, is from North Bergen.  Carlos Eduardo Almonte, from an ex-Catholic family who converted to Islam, was born in the Dominican Republic and became a naturalized USA citizen, is from Elmwood Park. The two were planning to hook up with a Somalia-based terror group called al-Shabab, which has ties to Al Qaeda and operates in the Horn of Africa and East Africa.

Sources said that the suspects’ families dropped the dime on their relatives after they grew concerned about their increasingly radical beliefs. The men had reportedly led fairly normal lives until recently, but boasted that they wanted to wage holy war against the USA both here and abroad.

In the past few months, the duo had saved thousands of dollars, worked-out, practiced tactical maneuvers at local paintball fields and bought gear and apparel they would use to fight Americans overseas (see also – Virginia Network).

According to intelligence sources Mohamed Hamoud Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte were inspired at least in part by Omar Hammami, also known as Mansour al-Amriki, the Alabama-born face of the Somalia-based terrorist group, and Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born cleric now hiding in Yemen, who has been linked to Malik Nidal’s Shooting at Fort Hood, the Flight-253 bombing attempt and the failed Times Square PlotBoth were also members of the Revolution Muslim group in New York, led by Jesse C. Morton.

Officials said the two men were not planning an imminent attack in the New York-New Jersey area or elsewhere.

Mohamed Hamoud Alessa was transferred to North Bergen High School in 12/2004 from Al-Huda School, a private Islamic school in Paterson, New Jersey.  A few months later, in 02/2005, school administrators placed him on home instruction because of concerns of safety and well-being of other students and school personnel.

In 09/2005, Mohamed Hamoud Alessa was transferred to KAS Prep, an alternative school in Hudson County, New Jersey.  According to a school official Alessa talked about mutilating homosexuals, subordinating women in the name of Islam and bringing a gang of Muslims to blow up the school.

School officials contacted the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security several times in 2006 when Mohamed Hamoud Alessa’s anti-American rhetoric became alarming, the school official said.

Elmwood Park schools Superintendent said he believed Carlos Eduardo Almonte graduated in 2004. Almonte has a criminal record that dates to 2004 and includes arrests for weapons possession and underage drinking. The weapons charge was dismissed, according to court records in Elmwood Park. It is also unclear what prompted Almonte, an ex-Catholic who was born in the Dominican Republic, to convert to Islam.

The defendants occasionally attended midweek prayer services with Alessa’s father at the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson. 

* On Thursday 03/03/2011, Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte pleaded guilty, in a plea bargain, to charges that they tried to join an Al Qaeda-affiliated group overseas. 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 charges could carry up to life in prison, but they may face 15 to 30 years at their June sentencing under the terms of the plea agreement. 


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