A Long Island teen secretly plead guilty after being charged by federal authorities with attempting to join up with a terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Justin Kaliebe, 18, was arrested attempting to board a flight at John F. Kennedy Airport bound for Oman back in January. There, federal investigators allege, Kaliebe would then make his way to Yemen to meet up with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
AQAP came to the fore of national attention after the failed “underwear bomber” attempted to destroy a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009. The underwear bomber was discovered to be associated with the Al Qaeda affiliates.
Law enforcement learned of Kaliebe's intentions after sharing them with a New York Police undercover anti-terrorism officer.
He was quoted on tape, reported CNN, as telling the agent that he would be willing to confront US drones, “American agents or whatever, US Special Forces.”
Expecting to die in some attack once joining AQAP, Kaliebe told the agent that dying in jihad was "what anyone would want, any believer would want.”
This lead to the 18-year-old being arrested in New York City earlier this year. He plead guilty to these charges in February, however that and the details gathered by undercover agents had not been publicly disclosed until Wednesday.
Why these details were kept secret have not been disclosed to the public, with an US attorney's office spokesperson declining to comment, USA Today reported.
Undercover agents said they did not believe Kaliebe had intentions to plan and carry out attacks within US borders.
Details on the teenage suspect are limited, however sources say that authorities have confirmed that Kaliebe was a student when he was arrested.
They have also stated that he is of Russian descent. His citizenship status is unclear.
Wednesday a status hearing was scheduled. If convicted, Long Island teen Kaliebe could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for attempting to participate in and associate with terrorist activities.
[Image via ShutterStock]