What to know
- Kenyan national Cholo Abdi Abdullah will appear in New York City federal court on Wednesday on charges related to terrorism
- The accused allege that Abdullah was plotting a 9/11-style attack, going so far as to obtain years of flight training in the Philippines
- He was arrested in the country in the summer of 2019 with bombs and bomb-making equipment.
Federal prosecutors said the Kenyan man spent years training to conduct a 9/11-style attack in the Philippines, undergoing flight school and researching how to get into the country and hijack airplanes Was.
Cholo Abdi Abdullah was allegedly part of an al-Shabaab unit and was taking orders directly from a commander in an African terrorist group – one previously responsible for directing a deadly 2019 hotel attack in Nairobi, prosecutors said.
Manhattan US Attorney Audit Strauss said in a statement, “This is a strong response to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 that terrorist groups such as Al Shabaab are committed to killing American civilians and attacking America.”
Abdullah, 30, who has been in custody since last year, is expected to appear in federal court in New York later on Wednesday. He faces several criminal cases related to his alleged conspiracy and supports the terrorist group for possible punishment anywhere from 20 years in prison.
Officials say he was conducting research on American skyscrapers as a possible target – but it was not immediately clear if a New York site was on his list.
Filipino news outlets widely reported his arrest in July 2019, although details of the alleged plot were not known at the time. According to the Web site rapper, Abdullah had bombs and bomb-making equipment when he was arrested.
“Nearly 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there are people who are determined to carry out terrorist 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 abroad, learning how to hijack an aircraft for the purpose of causing a mass. Incidental event within our borders. “