New York: Fourteen US citizens have been
charged with attempting to join al-Shabab, a Somali-based
terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, which is battling the
Western-backed Transitional Federal Government in the war-torn
Law enforcement officials Told NBC News that the 14
will be charged with attemoting to join the terror group.
The Justice Department will formally announce their
charging, the report said. The 14 people include 12 from
Minnesota, one from Alabama and one from California.
Last month, Al-Shabab claimed responsibility
for bombing two sites in Uganda where people were watching a
soccer World Cup game on television. The terror attacks killed
In June, two men from New Jersey planned to
travel to Somalia to join al Shabab.
Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo
Almonte, 24, have been charged with conspiring to kill, kidnap
or maim persons outside the United States.
US counter terrorism officials believe there may be as
many as 50 US citizens fighting with al-Shabab in Somalia, NBC
Some are from the Minneapolis-St Paul area and also
from other cities with large Somali-American populations
including Columbus, Ohio, Seattle, and Kansas City.
The law enforcement officials also noted that
there were an estimated 150 to 200 al-Shabab members with
passports from friendly foreign countries who would not
require visas to enter the United States.