Two Jersey boys by the names of Carlos Eduardo Almonte and Mohamed Mahmood Alessa were arrested over the weekend at JFK Airport as they sought to begin their jihadist pilgrimage to Somalia via Cairo. Before getting on the plane, they had dutifully lifted weights, played paintball, and — unfortunately for them — unwittingly bragged to the Feds about their dreams of killing Americans. Their training was to be completed by al Shabaab, the infamous hardcore "youth" militia that owns south-central Somalia. Because al Shabaab made our State Department's terrorist organization list in 2008, these lost boys face enough "conspiring to..." terror charges to land them in jail for the rest of their lives.
Setting aside your natural fears that America is suddenly crawling with any number of Islamic sleepers, here's five things you should know about al Shabaab.
Read the full post at Esquire.com's The Politics Blog.
NOTE: Got this assignment Monday morning as I flew out to Baltimore. Vonne pushed cites to me, and I wrote it on my laptop while sitting alongside the Pentagon on a beautiful sunny day. Sent it off that night and it went up yesterday morning, while my travels continued.