Suspect’s Mom: Son ‘Stupid Kid’ not a Terrorist

New York (CNN) — The mother of one of the two New Jersey men arrested last week at a New York airport allegedly on their way to fight with an al Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia says the two men are guilty of stupidity — but not of the sinister plan described by authorities.

“Anything makes him angry. But he’s not a terrorist, he’s a stupid kid,” Nadia Alessa said of her U.S.-born son, Mahmood.


North Jersey Muslims and Arabs Shocked and Frustrated by Terrorism Charges

The arrests of two New Jersey men accused of planning to join a terrorist group in Somalia to kill people brought a mix of horror and exasperation to Arabs and Muslims in North Jersey.

“My thought was they are young, they are stupid and foolish,” said Mohammad Qatanani, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, a mosque in Paterson that the two men, Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte, had attended a few times. “We need to reach out to all the young generation to educate them. We are dealing with thousands in the young generation in the United States and outside, and we don’t want them to be victimized by bad people who have an incorrect understanding of the Koran.”


Western Aid Groups Deny Religious Agenda in Afghanistan

Two Western aid organisations have denied allegations they were engaged in Christian proselytising in Afghanistan after the government suspended their activities following a television report.

Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid said they had been operating in Afghanistan for decades and their work was entirely humanitarian.  “Norwegian Church Aid has no mandate to influence people’s religious beliefs in any part of the world – neither in Afghanistan,” the organisation said on its website.

A private Afghan television said the two groups were trying to convert Muslims, triggering a government investigation. Proselytising is an offence punishable by death in Afghanistan.