- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
14 indicted in plot to aid Somali terrorists
Al-Shabab recruits U.S. citizens, seeks funds
The Justice Department unsealed indictments Thursday against 14 people - including seven U.S. citizens - charging them with providing money, personnel and services to a Somali-based terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda.
Two of those accused are women, Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, both naturalized U.S. citizens, who were arrested by FBI agents at their homes in Minneapolis. The others are fugitives, many of whom are thought to be in Somalia actively assisting the terrorist group al-Shabab.
“These indictments and arrests - in Minnesota, Alabama and California - shed further light on a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and fighters to al-Shabab from cities across the United States,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in announcing the indictments.
Al-Shabab is an Islamist insurgency group aligned with al Qaeda that controls much of Somalia’s southern and central regions. With an estimated 3,000 to 7,000 members, it has waged jihad against the weak Somali Transitional Federal Government. Last month, it claimed credit for bombings in Uganda that killed 76 during the World Cup finals in what was the organization’s first international attack.
The indictments are the culmination of a two-year federal investigation that focused, in part, on the disappearance of young men from a number of U.S. cities, including Minneapolis, who were thought to have been recruited by al-Shabab and sent to Somalia. Some of them were killed in the fighting in that country, investigators said.
The indictment said the women raised money to support al-Shabab through door-to-door solicitations and teleconferences in Somali communities in Minneapolis; Rochester, Minn., and other locations in the United States and Canada. In some cases, according to the indictment, they said the money raised would be used to aid the poor and the needy.
According to the indictment, Ms. Ali sent money to al-Shabab through various hawalas, which are money-transfer businesses common in the Islamic world. She was accused of sending nearly $9,000 to al-Shabab on a dozen occasions between September 2008 and July 2009.
The indictment said that after her home was searched by FBI agents last year, she contacted an al-Shabab leader in southern Somalia, saying: “I was questioned by the enemy here. … They took all my stuff and are investigating it. … Do not accept calls from anyone.”
In Alabama, a September superseding indictment was unsealed against Omar Hammami, 26, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Daphne, Ala. In California, prosecutors unsealed an October indictment against Jehad Serwan Mostafa, 28, a U.S. citizen and former resident of San Diego. Both men are accused of providing material support, including themselves, to terrorists. They are thought to be in Somalia.
Minnesota prosecutors unsealed a July superseding indictment charging U.S. citizens Abdikadir Ali Abdi, 19; Abdisalan Hussein Ali, 21; Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, 33; as well as Farah Mohamed Beledi, 26; and Abdiweli Yassin Isse, 26, with conspiring to and providing material support to al-Shabab and conspiring to kill, maim and injure persons abroad.
Five other defendants previously charged by indictment are also named in the indictment: Ahmed Ali Omar, 27; Khalid Mohamud Abshir, 27; Zakaria Maruf, 31; Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, 22; and Mustafa Ali Salat, 20. They are accused of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations; conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad; possessing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
An affidavit previously filed in the case charges that Mr. Faarax and others met at a Minneapolis mosque to telephone co-conspirators in Somalia to discuss the need for Minnesota-based co-conspirators to go to Somalia to fight. The affidavit also said Mr. Faarax attended a meeting in Minneapolis where he encouraged others to fight in Somalia and told them how he had experienced true brotherhood while fighting jihad in Somalia.
“As demonstrated by the charges unsealed today, we are seeing an increasing number of individuals - including U.S. citizens - who have become captivated by extremist ideology and have taken steps to carry out terrorist objectives, either at home or abroad,” Mr. Holder said.
Mr. Holder noted that members of the American Muslim community “have been - and continue to be - strong partners in fighting this emerging threat.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- James Bond: The spy who is really an alcoholic
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
A conservative commentator and satirist takes on the worlds of politics and entertainment in pursuit of truth, justice and all things America.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow