The terror suspect is reportedly affiliated with al-Shabaab, a Salafi Wahhabist jihadist group based in East Africa with direct links to al-Qaeda.
Kenyan national Cholo Abdi Abdullah is expected to appear in a New York court on Wednesday to be charged with concocting a 9/11-style terror plot involving flying a hijacked airliner into a skyscraper in a major US city.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York indicated that Abdullah was arrested in the Philippines in July 2019, and transferred to US custody on 15 December 2020.
He is alleged to have travelled to the Asian nation in 2016 at the direction of a senior al-Shabaab commander. While there, Abdullah was said to have obtained pilot training, and to have researched the means to hijack a commercial jetliner, as well as information about the tallest building in a major US city, and the procedures for obtaining a US visa.
Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said in a statement that the alleged terror plot was a reminder “of the deadly threat that radical Islamic terrorists continue to pose to our nation,” and the need to “pursue and hold accountable anybody who seeks to harm our country and our citizens,” wherever they may be.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the agents, detectives, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this defendant’s arrest,” Demers added. The FBI and the New York…