How did this imam miss the peaceful and tolerant teachings of Islam that we all must believe in on pain of charges of “Islamophobia” and “bigotry”? Where did he get the crazy idea that he had some Islamic duty to wage war against Infidels?
“SD Somalis sent to prison in terrorism case,” by Kristina Davis for U-TSanDiego.com, November 18 (thanks to Kenneth):
SAN DIEGO “” Three local Somali men convicted of aiding a terrorist organization in their war-torn homeland were sent to prison Monday, concluding what”s expected to be the first leg in legal battle that will continue in appeals courts.
The sentencing hearing in San Diego federal court comes four days after the men lost their bid for a new trial, which was requested after it came to light that the investigation was kick-started by the U.S. National Security Agency”s sweeping electronic surveillance program.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller handed down sentences that were lower than the maximum term and what prosecutors recommended, as he took into account the overwhelming community support for the men and their otherwise upstanding backgrounds.
Still, the judge wanted the sentences to send a strong message against any support of terrorism, saying “seeds of this kind of thinking cannot be sowed here in the United States.”
Basaaly Moalin, a San Diego cabdriver whose actions were considered the most egregious, received the highest term of 18 years.
The U.S. Attorney”s Office said Moalin, 36, led the local effort to raise $10,900 in support of al-Shabab, a violent terrorist group fighting for control of Somalia”s transitional government.
Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, a 41-year-old City Heights imam who used his influence to solicit funds from others, was sentenced to 13 years.
Issa Doreh, 56, who worked at a money transfer business the men used, received 10 years.
A fourth defendant, Orange County cabdriver Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud, is set to be sentenced in January.
They have already served three years and will be required to serve at least 80 percent of the full terms.
“These men willfully sent money to a terrorist organization, knowing al-Shabaab”s extremely violent methods, and knowing the U.S. had designated it as a foreign terrorist organization,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. “Months of intercepted phone conversations included discussion of suicide bombing, assassinations and Jihad. We are satisfied that because of this investigation and prosecution, we have furthered our mission to safeguard national security by blocking financial support to this dangerous group.”
Volumes of letters and signatures poured in for the men from community members, tribal leaders, government officials and family “” both in San Diego and Africa. Moalin alone garnered more than 600 letters or signatures.
A similar tone permeated the pleas for mercy, with stories of men who are dedicated to raising money for education and orphans back home, and to the spiritual and financial support of refugees trying to assimilate in San Diego “” home to the second largest Somali population in the U.S., behind Minneapolis.
Moalin sponsored numerous students, Mohamud helped open a school and Doreh volunteered at the same federal jail where he is now being held, their attorneys said.
The defense attorneys also urged the judge to put the men”s criminal acts into the context of the turbulent, ever-changing geopolitical situation of their homeland, where “today”s warlord is tomorrow”s national consensus president,” wrote Joshua Dratel, Moalin”s lawyer….
The case was based on 1,800 intercepted phone calls, obtained from wiretaps authorized by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The calls captured conversations Moalin had with a man who prosecutors said was an al-Shabab leader, as well as the other defendants.
They discussed raising money for the organization and the risk of surveillance, and acknowledged the violence being committed for the cause, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Cole. Moalin also offered al-Shabab use of his home in Mogadishu, going so far as to instruct them how to best bury bombs in the yard….
When it was his turn to address the judge, Moalin, a naturalized U.S. citizen, denounced the extremist ideology.
“I love America, I never say anything bad about America,” he said. “I oppose al-Shabab and what they are doing to my people,” adding the group in Somalia killed one of his friends who testified on his behalf.
Mohamud, who is in the U.S. on refugee status, said deporting him to Somalia after his incarceration would be a virtual death sentence by al-Shabab….
Why? Because he failed?