Justin Kaliebe, 18, a resident of Babylon and Bay Shore, was charged with attempting to travel to Yemen in order to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which is also called Ansar al Sharia (AAS). On February 8, 2013 Kaliebe plead guilty to the charge of attempting to provide information to a terrorist. If convicted he can spend up to thirty years in prison.
According to court filings, Kaliebe's intentions were to wage violent jihad once he arrived in Yemen. He told undercover officers that he'd been waiting two years to leave the country and wage this jihad. He extensively quoted terrorist leaders such as Anwar al-Awlaki, Omar Abdel Rahman, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Osama Bin Laden during his conversations to the undercover police.
The teen believed he'd be charged with conspiracy - a charge which has been given to others in the same position before him. When asked if he would die over there he said, "I wanna....It’s what anyone would want, any believer would want.” In an e-mail to terrorist leaders in al-Queada and AQAP, Kaliebe continued on with his plans. “I pledge my loyalty, allegiance and fidelity to the Mujahedeen of Al-Qaa’idah in the Arabian Peninsula and its leaders, Shaykh Abu Baseer Nasir Al-Wuhayshi and Shaykh Ayman Al-Zawahiri, hafidhahum Allah. May Allah accept this from me and may he allow me to fight in his cause til the day that I leave this dunya.”
Kaliebe was arrested on January 21, 2013. He attempted to board a flight to Muscat, Oman at John F. Kennedy Airport when the NYPD apprehended the would-be jihadist. New York City Police Department Commissioner said of Kaliebe's arrest, "The NYPD is concerned about the continuing interest of some young Americans in violent jihad and their identification with terrorist organizations like AQAP. That is why the NYPD Intelligence Division continues to track individuals allegedly evincing support for terrorism, and that is why we worked in close cooperation with the JTTF to apprehend this suspect."
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos also spoke about Kaliebe's apprehension. “The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will seek out those who pledge allegiance to terrorists and terrorist organizations throughout the world, and we will continue to work together to disrupt their evil plans.”
[Source: FBI Press Release]