Central Islip - (WALK) A Brentwood man is being held without bail today after pleading not guilty to charges relating to terrorism Friday.
Marcos Alonso Zea, 25, was arraigned at federal court in Central Islip and accused of crimes including conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign nation, attempting to provide material support to terrorists, obstruction of justice, and attempting to conceal his terrorist activities, according to federal prosecutors.
Zea, born in the United States, allegedly tried to travel to Yemen to join an al-Qaida sect, but when his plans fell through Zea supported a friend, Justin Kaliebe, 18, in Kaleibe's attempt to travel to Yemen to join a Holy War, according to a statement by federal prosecutor, Loretta Lynch.
Zea and Kaliebe planned to join al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen in 2011. Kaliebe, who has lived in Bay Shore and Babylon, was arrested in January while attempting to board a jet for Yemen. He pleaded guilty toterrorism-related charges in June and is awaiting sentencing.
Following Kaliebe's arrest Zea allegedly attempted but failed to wipe the hard drives of three computers of "a variety of jihadist materials," according to prosecutors.
Family members say Zea is the son of Columbian immigrant and was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, but converted to Islam several years ago. He reportedly studied Arabic at Suffolk County Community College. Zea and Kaliebe attended a mosque in Bay Shore.
Zea is a graduate of Brentwood High School, class of 2006, and earned a liberal arts degree from SCCC in 2011. He reportedly used the name "Ali Zea."
Photo: Flag of Yemen, Universal Public Domain