Crisis Averted

Accused N.J. Terrorists Appear in Court

The wheels of justice are in motion: Two New Jersey men accused of plotting to join an Islamic extremist group made their first appearance in court today, after their arrest Saturday night as they prepared to board flights at New York's Kennedy International Airport. Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, both charged on charges of conspiracy to kill, maim, and kidnap people outside the U.S., gave the same reply as to whether or not they understood the charges: yes. After the arraignment, which lasted only a few minutes, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a press conference that while the men posed no immediate threat to the public, he knew it was time to arrest them when “they had finally purchased plane tickets and were on their way out of the country.” Authorities became aware of the men in 2006, when the FBI received an anonymous tip through its website, and have been following them since.