The lengthy investigation of an undercover New York Police Department officer produced recorded conversations that led to the arrests Saturday of two New Jersey men who plotted to kill American soldiers, the Washington Post reports.

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 20, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 26, were arrested Saturday at John F. Kennedy Airport before they could board separate flights to Egypt and then continue on to Somalia, where they planned to join Al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaeda.

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