U.S. Citizens Charged With Aiding Somali Terrorist Group al-Shabaab
August 5, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The Department of Justice announced criminal indictments against 14 people today, most of them American citizens, for providing aid to a terrorist group based in Somalia. Two of the suspects are in federal custody and are charged with “providing money, personnel and services” to the terrorist organization, al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda. The suspects are residents of Minnesota, Alabama and California. Ten of the 14 are also charged with leaving the country to travel to Somalia to aid terrorists.
“The indictments unsealed today shed further light on a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and fighters to the al-Shabaab terror organization from cities across the United States,” said Attorney General Holder. “While our investigations are ongoing around the country, these arrests and charges should serve as an unmistakable warning to others considering joining terrorist groups like al-Shabaab – if you choose this route you can expect to find yourself in a U.S. jail cell or a casualty on the battlefield in Somalia.”
The two suspects in federal custody are from Minnesota and they are charged with operating a fundraising scheme to aid al-Shabaab, by knocking on people’s doors, asking for money and using teleconferences. The funds were sent to Somalia by way of the hawala money transfer system:
“Earlier today, FBI agents arrested Amina Farah Ali, 33, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 63, both naturalized U.S. citizens from Somalia and residents of Rochester, Minn. Each is charged in an indictment unsealed today with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabaab from Sept. 17, 2008 through July 19, 2010. Ali is also charged in the indictment with 12 substantive counts of providing material support to al-Shabaab. Hassan is also charged with three counts of making false statements.”
Ali and Hassan used false names and told donors the money was to help the poor in Somalia. But at other times, the pair admitted their support for terrorists.
“On Feb. 10, 2009, Ali allegedly conducted another fundraising teleconference in which she told listeners to “forget about the other charities” and focus on “the jihad.”‘
The two jihadist fundraisers face dozens of years in prison, if convicted.
The entire DOJ press release can be found here.