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US citizen charged over Al-Shabaab attack on KDF camp in Lamu
Tuesday January 12, 2016
KDF soldiers display a cache of weapons outside Mpeketoni Hospital on June 15, 2015 after killing 11 Al-Shabaab terrorists who had attacked a military camp in Lamu. PHOTO | ATHMAN OMAR | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP
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A United States citizen has been charged with joining and supporting Somali based terror group Al-Shabaab.
Maalik Alim Jones, 31, of Maryland was charged before a chief magistrate in New York with conspiracy to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, receiving military-type training from the extremist group and possessing, carrying and using firearms in relation to a crime of violence.
According to the US Department of Justice, the suspect appeared with other Al-Shabaab fighters in at least two videos that were recovered from a captured terrorist.
In one of the videos, Mr Jones possessed a firearm and is seen with several Al-Shabaab fighters who, on June 14, 2015 participated in an attack on a Kenyan Defence Force base in Lamu during which two soldiers were killed.
Mr Jones travelled to Kenya in July 2011 before crossing to Somalia where he trained, worked and fought with Al-Shabaab.
“He received military training at an Al-Shabaab training camp, learned to operate an AK-47 assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenades.
“He also became a member of Al-Shabaab’s specialised fighting force, Jaysh Ayman and participated in combat against soldiers of the Kenyan government,” said the Justice Department in a statement.
The charges were announced on Monday by US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office Diego Rodriguez and Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department.
The State Department said the suspect was trained to kill and destroy communities and was caught trying to get to Yemen.
If convicted, Mr 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.
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