A Kenyan member of the al-Shabaab militant group who acquired pilot coaching within the Philippines is because of seem in a US courtroom to face expenses of conspiring to mount a 9/11-style assault in the US.
Cholo Abdi Abdullah, 30, is charged with six counts of terrorism-related offenses, the justice division mentioned in an announcement.
Abdullah, who was arrested within the Philippines in July 2019, was delivered to the US on Tuesday and was as a consequence of be introduced earlier than a Justice of the Peace in Manhattan on Wednesday, the division mentioned.
Audrey Strauss, the performing Manhattan US legal professional, mentioned Abdullah obtained pilot coaching within the Philippines as a part of an al-Shabaab plot “in preparation for looking for to hijack a industrial plane and crash it right into a constructing in the US”.
“This chilling callback to the horrific assaults of September 11, 2001, is a stark reminder that terrorist teams like al-Shabaab stay dedicated to killing US residents and attacking the US,” Strauss mentioned.
“Abdullah’s plot was detected earlier than he may obtain his lethal aspirations, and now he faces federal terrorism expenses in a US courtroom,” she added.
In accordance with the indictment, Abdullah attended flight college within the Philippines between 2017 and 2019 and ultimately obtained his pilot’s license.
Whereas present process flight coaching, he allegedly carried out analysis into strategies to hijack a industrial airliner and sought data on methods to acquire a US visa.
Abdullah is charged with conspiring to homicide US nationals, conspiring to commit plane piracy and different offenses. He may face a most sentence of life in jail.
The Somalia-based al-Shabaab was designated a terrorist motion by the US in 2008.
Somalia plunged into chaos after the 1991 overthrow of then president Siad Barre, resulting in years of clan warfare adopted by the rise of al-Shabaab which as soon as managed massive elements of the nation and Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab was pushed out of the capital in 2011, however its militants proceed to wage struggle towards the federal government, finishing up common assaults.