BUENA, NJ — Federal authorities in the Middle East have taken into custody a 26-year-old Buena resident they believe is an al-Qaida operative, a South Jersey television station reported Wednesday evening.
The man, a 2002 Buena Regional High School graduate, recently was arrested along with several other suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen for allegedly plotting some sort of attack, NBC40 in Atlantic City reported.
Buena Mayor Joseph Baruffi said the borough was notified Wednesday it might receive calls about the incident and was instructed to direct all inquiries to the FBI in Newark. The FBI did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday evening.
Baruffi said he did not believe the borough's police department was involved in the investigation.
NBC40 also reported the Buena man is the same suspected al-Qaida member who was hospitalized in a Yemeni hospital over the weekend when he killed a guard and wounded another while trying to escape.
The suspect in that shooting was captured after a chase, the Associated Press reported.
Hospital officials said the patient snatched a gun from one of his guards, shot them and fled. Security forces, armed with smoke grenades, responded to Republican Hospital of San'a and apprehended the patient.
NBC40 named the suspect, but The Daily Journal could not confirm his identity Wednesday night. The station reported his family confirmed the FBI recently visited, but said his mother called her son a good Muslim who had never been in trouble.
This is not the first time western Atlantic County, a typically sleepy corner of South Jersey, has been linked to a terrorist investigation.
In 2007, Agron Abdullahu of Buena Vista was arrested along with five other men in connection with a plot to attack the Fort Dix military base in Burlington County.
Abudullahu, who worked as a baker at a supermarket in Williamstown, pleaded guilty to providing weapons to illegal immigrants and was sentenced to 20 months in prison in 2008.
The five other men were convicted in late 2008 of conspiring to kill American military personnel.
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