American linked to KDF attack in Lamu charged in the U.S.
A U.S. citizen linked to KDF military camp attack in Baure, Lamu County that left two soldiers dead has be indicted in the U.S. on accusations of supporting the Somalia-based Islamic militant group Al Shabaab, the United States Justice Department has said.
In a statement released by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, 31 year-old Maalik Alim Jones was charged with providing material support to Al Shabaab and receiving training from the terrorist organization.
According to prosecutors, Jones traveled from New York to Kenya and then to Somalia by land in July 2011 to train, work and fight with Al Shabaab. The former Baltimore resident, who left the U.S. for Somalia in 2011, allegedly received military training at an Al Shabaab training camp, where he learned on how to operate an AK-47 assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenades.
“As alleged, Maalik Alim Jones traveled to Somalia, received military training from Al Shabaab, and took up arms as a terrorist fighter with an organization that has declared the United States a target,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara.
“Now, as ever, we are determined to protect the people of this country from the murderous designs of terrorist organizations. Having allegedly sworn allegiance to Al Shabaab, a terrorist organization bent on destroying America, Maalik Jones will now face American justice in a Manhattan federal court.”
Jones allegedly went on to become a member of the Al Shabaab’s specialized fighting force, Jaysh Ayman, and participated in combat against soldiers of the Kenyan government on behalf of Al Shabaab. He also appeared with other fighters in at least two videos, including one video in which he is seen with fighters who participated in an attack on a Kenyan Defense Force base in Lamu County, Kenya, in June 2015, killing two Kenyan soldiers.
Assistant Director in Charge Rodriguez said Jones case highlights the international nature of terrorism and the criminal actions taken in pursuit of attacks against others.
“As alleged herein, Maalik Alim Jones, from Maryland, joined a terrorist organization in Somalia, traveled from New York to Kenya, through Morocco and the UAE, where he was trained to kill and destroy communities. Recently he was caught trying to get to Yemen. We applaud the thorough investigation by the agents and task force officers on FBI’s JTTF, who were able to identify his activities, stop his plans, and bring him here to face the U.S. justice system.”
Jones has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Al Shabaab; providing, and attempting to provide, material support to Al Shabaab; conspiracy to receive military-type training from Al Shabaab; receipt of military-type training from Al Shabaab; and possessing, carrying and using firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
If convicted, Jones faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on the charges. In addition, the firearms offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment.