A U.S. citizen from Maryland who went to Somalia and joined the Islamist terror organization Al Shabaab was brought to face charges in a U.S. court.
Maalik Alim Jones, 32, left his wife in the U.S. and traveled to Kenya in 2011. From there he made his way to Somalia, where he immediately joined Al Shabaab. Jones received military training from the brutal group, including how to operate an AK-47 and rocket-propelled grenades, according to a news release put out by the U.S. Justice Department.
Jones was highly successful in the terror group and was promoted to join a special unit. While with that unit, he participated in operations attacking Kenyan soldiers.
In court, Jones said, “I knew that my actions were a violation of the laws of the United States.”
“Jones pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to al Shabaab, by traveling abroad to join and fight on behalf of the foreign terrorist organization for four years,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente. “I want to thank the many prosecutors, agents, and analysts who made this result possible.”
“As he admitted in court today, Maalik Jones traveled to Somalia, was trained by al Shabaab in the use of an AK-47 and rocket-propelled grenades and took up arms for four years as a terrorist fighter,” said New York Acting Attorney Joon Kim. “For his allegiance to this lawless, terrorist organization that vows to destroy America and its values, Maalik Jones been held to account in an American court of law. All that is left is for him to be sentenced for his crimes.”
Taking all his crimes together, Jones could face a lifetime in prison.