Two men accused of preparing to slaughter Americans in the Middle East were brought today before a federal judge in Newark who read the chares to them, told them of the penalties they face and appointed lawyers to defend them, a witness in the courtroom told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo ordered the shackled defendants — Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, and Carlos Eduardo “Omar” Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park — to remain in custody pending a bail hearing Thursday morning.
Little else was said during an extremely brief hearing.
When reporters later asked U.S Attorney Paul J. Fishman whether the pair actually were sophisticated to carry out their plan, he replied: “Sophistication is not necessarily a measure of danger.”
Investigtors who had been following the men since 2006 said they weren’t aware that an attack was imminent, or that either had connected with members of an al Qaeda-linked group of young jihadists known as al Shabaab.
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