US citizen indicted for supporting African terrorist group

(Xinhua)      Updated : 2016-01-12

WASHINGTON - A US citizen from the state of Maryland has been indicted on charges of supporting and receiving military training from the African terror group al-Shabaab, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Maalik Alim Jones, 31, was indicted based on his alleged support of al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Somalia that is allied with al-Qaida, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Specifically, Jones was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabaab and receive military-type training from al-Shabaab, and possessing, carrying and using firearms in relation to a crime of violence, it said.

Jones reportedly traveled to Somalia in July 2011 to fight on behalf of al-Shabaab, learned to fire an AK-47 and rocket-propelled grenade, and then used this training to attack the Kenyan government, New York city police chief William J. Bratton said.

Recently Jones was reportedly caught trying to travel to Yemen.

He was arraigned in a court in the Southern District of New York on Dec 19, 2015. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on the charges.