Press Release

ADL Applauds Arrests of New Jersey Residents for Conspiring to Murder People Outside the U.S.

Teaneck, NJ, March 4, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauded U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Federal Authorities for their investigation leading to the guilty pleas of two New Jersey residents who conspired to murder people outside the United States.

Mohamed Alessa, 21, and Carlos Almonte, 24, were arrested on June 5, 2010, at JFK airport as they were planning to travel overseas to join an Al Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda linked terror group in Somalia. Alessa, who lived in North Bergen, and Almonte, who lived in Elmwood Park, are part of a growing domestic terror threat involving American citizens motivated by radical interpretations of Islam and fueled by hatred of Jews, Israel and America.

Prior to their arrest both Alessa and Almonte attended events held by the Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) and Revolution Muslim (RM), two anti-Semitic groups that justify terrorist attacks and other forms of violence in order to create a global Islamic state. Less than a week before the two men were apprehended at JFK, they participated in an ITS protest in front of the Israeli consulate in New York. Almonte held an ITS poster with the slogan, "Exterminate the Zionist Roaches."

Lawrence Cooper, ADL New Jersey Regional Board Chair, and Etzion Neuer, ADL New Jersey Regional Director, issued the following statement:

This case is a reminder of the threat posed by American extremists influenced by the ideologies of extreme intolerance and violence propagated by terrorist movements overseas. It also demonstrates how hatred of Jews and Israel has been part of the radicalization process for some homegrown extremists.

This case highlights the continued importance of the work of law enforcement in tracking and preventing this threat.

We very much hope these arrests will also serve as a meaningful deterrent for others who might attempt to aid other terrorist plots and terrorist organizations.

ADL has compiled a chronology of criminal proceedings of American Muslim extremists charged, convicted or sentenced since 2002 on terrorism-related offenses – ranging from providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations to plotting violent attacks in the U.S. ADL has also reported on American Muslim extremists fueled by hatred of Jews and Israel.