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What’s Described as ‘9/11-Style’ Terror Attack Thwarted by New York FBI Office

What’s Described as ‘9/11-Style’ Terror Attack Thwarted by New York FBI Office

by Leah AnayaDecember 16, 2020

New York – The FBI has thwarted a “9/11-style” terror attack in New York. It’s been reported that 30-year-old Cholo Abdi Abdullah, a Kenyan native, has been indicted on six charges. Those include conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, and supplying material to support a foreign terrorist organization.

Prosecutors said that Abdullah contacted a “senior al-Shabab commander,” the same one, reportedly, that was involved in the 2019 Nairobi hotel attack that left 21 people dead.

Abdullah attended flight school between 2017 and 2019 in the Philippines, where, prosecutors say, he “ultimately completing the tests necessary to obtain his pilot’s license.” They also said Abdullah did research on how to “hijack a commercial airliner, by gaining access to the cockpit,” and  researched “information about the tallest building in a major U.S. city, and information about how to obtain a U.S. visa.”

FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said, “He obtained a pilot’s license overseas, learning how to hijack an aircraft for the purpose of causing a mass-casualty incident within our borders.”

He continued, “Nearly 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there are those who remain determined to conduct terror attacks against United States citizens. Abdullah, we allege, is one of them.”

Abdullah was being held in the Philippines after being arrested by law enforcement for local charges in July 2019 until Wednesday when he was brought to New York. In federal court, Abdullah said, “I plead not guilty to all the counts.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “This chilling callback to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, is a stark reminder that terrorist groups like al-Shabab remain committed to killing U.S. citizens and attacking the United States.”

Assistant Attorney General of National Security John C. Demers said, “No matter where terrorists who plan to target Americans may be located, we will seek to identify them and bring them to justice.”

NBC reported, “He has been ordered detained pending trial and his attorney said they reserve the right to ask for bail in the future.”

US Day News reported that Abdullah is an important part of the Somalia-based al Shabaab terrorist group, which is reportedly connected to al Qaeda.

Abdullah is facing a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years up to life in prison. The city planned for the attack was not named.

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at
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