Maryland native Maalik Jones, 32, (also known as “Abdimalik Jones”) initially pleaded not guilty to multiple terrorism charges, but has now changed his tune. Jones pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to receive military training from a terrorist group, one count of conspiring to provide material support to the al-Qaida-affiliated terror group al Shabab and a weapons charge, while appearing in federal court on September 9th.
Jones is accused of training with the Islamic militant group al-Shabab in Somalia. The group seeks to run Somalia under Sharia law and merged with al-Qaida in 2011. According to authorities he confessed to fighting Kenyan government soldiers until being injured by a missile strike. He further claimed that he was paid $100 monthly by al-Shabab for four years.
Jones was apprehended and turned over to U.S. officials by Somali authorities in 2015. He faces 30 years to life and is to be sentenced Jan, 25.