A Kenyan terrorist has been indicted in New York for plotting to launch a 9/11 style attack on USA. The man had went to the Philippines to train as a pilot so that he can hijack a plane and then crash it on one of the skyscrapers in the United States. The man is from Kenya and is linked to the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, Al Shabaab.
Cholo Abdi Abdullah was allegedly part of an al-Shabaab unit and taking orders directly from a commander in the African terror group — one who was responsible for previously directing a deadly 2019 hotel attack in Nairobi, prosecutors said.
“This chilling callback to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, is a stark reminder that terrorist groups like al Shabaab remain committed to killing U.S. citizens and attacking the United States,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
30 year old Abdulla has been in custody since he was arrested in 2019. He pleaded not guilty in a New York courtroom on Wednesday. Mr. Abdullah faces multiple charges for his alleged support for terrorist organizations and if convicted, he could be jailed for 20 years to life in prison.
“Nearly 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there are those who remain determined to conduct terror attacks against United States citizens. Abdullah, we allege, is one of them,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement on the indictment. “He obtained a pilot’s license overseas, learning how to hijack an aircraft for the purpose of causing a mass-casualty incident within our borders.”
Prosecutors say that Abdullah started planning the attacks on American soil in 2016 and has been receiving training from an Al Shabaab commander who is responsible for planning the terrorist attacks on a Dusit D2 hotel in early 2019. In that attack, more than 21 people were killed as it took security officials more than 20 hours to get rid of the attackers.
Prosecutors said Abdullah got flight training in the Philippines between 2017 and 2019 and obtained a pilot’s license in preparation for an attack. During that time, authorities said in a news release, Abdullah researched “the means and methods to hijack a commercial airliner,” including how to breach a cockpit door and “information about the tallest building in a major U.S. city.”