Meet America’s dumbest jihadis
They don’t make terrorists like they used to. The two New Jersey residents arrested at JFK Airport on charges of conspiracy to kill Americans might just be the world’s dumbest jihadis. Ladies and gentlemen, the strange and sad tale of Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte.
Almonte (above) had a prior moment of internet fame. In 2009, a photograph of him at a pro-Palestinian rally holding a placard that apparently misspelled the word “Jews” made the rounds on various blogs and message boards. Now Almonte is in custody for attempting to travel to Somalia to kill American soldiers with al-Shabaab.
Not exactly the picture of terror.
The duo of aspiring jihadists were flying to Egypt, where they were planning to make their way to Mogadishu when the feds caught them:
Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, and Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, discussed buzz that U.S. soldiers would soon arrive in Somalia to battle Al Qaeda.
And that “was good because it would not be fun to kill only Africans,” the feds recorded them saying – with the help of a hero undercover NYPD cop.
“I was born here, you know, raised here. I just want the troops to come home safely and cozily . . . in caskets,” Almonte said in one taped conversation, according to authorities.
“Sliced up in 1,000 pieces, cozy in the grave, in hell,” Alessa cravenly agreed.
Not the world’s brightest jihadis. And, judging from the excerpts of their conversations published in the federal complaints, exactly the type of people who are easy to catch and arrest.
The whole story puts one in mind of the episode of South Park where Eric Cartman convinces the gang to travel to Somalia and become pirates. After all… who the hell voluntarily offers to go to Somalia?
Alessa and Almonte are both American citizens. Alessa is of Palestinian origins, while Almonte is a Muslim convert of Dominican ancestry.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this case has been the anecdotes about the pair that surfaced in the media.
The New York Daily News catches Almonte’s former boss calling him an “idiot” and accusing him of being unable to even organize items at his computer shop. The same newspaper then reported that even Almonte’s own family has disowned him in an article where his father disavows any association with him.
Meanwhile, the Bergen Record paints Alessa as more of a teenage delinquent than anything else:
Alessa’s behavior problems worsened in September 2005, when he transferred to KAS Prep, an alternative school in Hudson County that offers night classes to about 400 students who are not successful in traditional classroom settings.
A school official who was at KAS at the time said Alessa talked about mutilating homosexuals, subordinating women in the name of Islam and bringing a gang of Muslims to blow up the school.”
“Everyone tried to help this kid, he’s just an angry young man,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak for the school and asked not to be identified.
Although Alessa is the younger of the pair, he is generally believed to have been the ringleader of this severely flawed terrorist operation.
It’s not hard to see the lesson of this arrest. Jihadi terrorism, much like the neo-Nazi movements of the 1980s and other past trends, has a particular attraction to marginalized elements whose rage and anger does not necessarily match up to their capacity to act on it.
But unfortunately for the feds, not all wanna-be American jihadis will be as inept and clumsy as Alessa and Almonte.