Maryland man pleads not guilty to fighting for Somali terror group

A Maryland man arrested on charges he fought on behalf of an al-Qaida-affiliated terror group in Somalia has pleaded not guilty.

Maalik Alim Jones entered the plea in Manhattan federal court Wednesday to five terror-related charges. The plea came a month after the 31-year-old was turned over to U.S. authorities by the Somalia forces that arrested him Dec. 7.

Prosecutors say Jones made statements to the FBI after his arrest admitting he was a member of al-Shabab. Al-Shabab is an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group that wants to run Somalia with a strict interpretation of Shariah law.

Prosecutors say Jones admitted fighting Kenyan government soldiers while getting paid $100 monthly. The FBI says al-Shabab announced it had merged with al-Qaida in 2012.

A defense lawyer says Jones will fight the charges.