Would-be New Jersey Terrorists Listened to Tapes of Anwar Al-Awlaki

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Photo: Wikipedia

Carlos Eduardo Almonte and Mohammed Alessa, the two New Jersey men arrested at JFK over the weekend as they attempted to travel to Somalia for terror training, are set to be arraigned this morning in federal court in Newark. The papers have been working overtime to dig up whatever they can on these goons, and shocking no one, they turned up a connection between the two men and radical Islamist cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American citizen believed to be living in Yemen whose anti-U.S. preachings are so aggressive he is on the CIA's list of people they are allowed to assassinate. Almonte and Alessa listened to recordings of his lectures as they worked out at the gym or went hiking to get in better shape so they could later kill Americans, the Post reported.

Al-Awlaki basically has had an influence in every major thwarted (and not) attack on American soil in recent months, it seems like. He was a spiritual mentor to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, he inspired would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and he also inspired would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. Of course, Al-Awlaki would be a lot scarier if four out of five assholes he inspires weren't absurd incompetents, but let's just hope the CIA gets this guy sooner rather than later.

Suspects hot for preacher [NYP]