TWO men were arrested late Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport where they were believed headed for meetings with militant groups in Somalia, The New Jersey Star Ledger reported.
The men were arrested as they tried to board flights to Egypt. They were charged with conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism through a group tied to al Qaeda, the newspaper said, citing officials familiar with the arrests.
Both in their twenties and both residents of New Jersey, the two men had been under investigation since October 2006, the Star Ledger said.
An unidentified official told the newspaper both men were unmarried American citizens.
The US Attorney's Office confirmed the arrests but said the pair did not pose any immediate threat. They are scheduled to appear on Monday in US District Court in Newark, New Jersey.
Federal and local law enforcement officials searched the homes of both men where they conducted interviews and removed boxes of papers, a computer and other materials.
Authorities had infiltrated the men's social circle and said the suspects were not planning an imminent attack in the New York-New Jersey area but were believed to be intending to join with the Al Shabaab youth movement to fight against Americans in Somalia, the report said.
One official briefed on the case was hopeful it would lead to a "web of arrests," the newspaper said.
The arrests followed a failed attempt to explode a car bomb in New York's Times Square last month and an incident on Christmas Day in which a 23-year-old Nigerian tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner by setting off explosives hidden in his underwear.