Still another “misunderstander” of Islam. Funny how that keep happening. “Sixth area Somali man is indicted in probe,” by James Walsh, Richard Meryhew and Allie Shah for the Star Tribune, November 20:
A 24-year-old local Somali man has been indicted in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on charges of conspiring to provide support to terrorists.
Omer Abdi Mohamed, an unemployed employment counselor and father of a 2-month-old boy, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to “kill, kidnap, maim or injure” people in foreign countries, according to an indictment filed Tuesday but made public Thursday.
Mohamed, of Minneapolis, is the sixth Somali man with local ties to be charged in connection with a two-year-old federal counterterrorism investigation aimed at finding out who recruited as many as 20 area men of Somali descent to return to their homeland and train and fight with the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. The probe is considered to be one of the most sweeping international counterterrorism investigations since Sept. 11, 2001.
When asked if investigators allege that Mohamed was a recruiter, Peter Wold, his attorney, said: “In the end, I think you’ll see that certainly wasn’t the case.”
The indictment released Thursday provides few details, but it links Mohamed to a broad conspiracy involving other men who returned to Somalia to fight or train with terrorists, including Shirwa Ahmed, a 26-year-old Minneapolis man believed to be the first U.S. suicide bomber.
According to the indictment, others connected to the conspiracy include: Salah Osman Ahmed, Kamal Said Hassan, Ahmed Ali Omar, Abdifatah Isse and Khalid Mohamud Abshir — all of whom left the United States in December 2007 with a final destination of Somalia. Ahmed, Hassan and Isse all have pleaded guilty to the same charges Mohamed faces.
Wold said after the hearing Thursday that his client knew the other men through the mosque where they prayed. Isse Hussein, Mohamed’s cousin, said Mohamed prayed “a lot” at Abubakar as-Saddique Islamic Center in south Minneapolis. […]
A Minneapolis woman who described herself as an acquaintance of Mohamed said he was known by the nickname “Galeyr” and was good friends with Salah Ahmed. She said Mohamed also was related to Adarus Abdullah Ali, 25, who admitted in federal court this month to lying to a grand jury about knowing men who went to Somalia to fight.
The woman, who was close friends with Mohamoud Hassan, a local Somali who was killed in Mogadishu in September, said Mohamed and Ahmed and some of the other men who left Minnesota for Somalia often spent time at Abubakar, the largest Somali mosque in the state. […]
The woman said she doesn’t know for certain why all the men left for Somalia, but said she believes it’s rooted in a combination of patriotic feelings toward the Somali homeland and religious fervor. […]
Minneapolis has been at the center of the international counterterrorism investigation since the first of up to 20 young Somali men from Minnesota began quietly leaving to return to their homeland. In most cases, the men left without telling their families or friends of their plans.
The focus of the investigation has been uncovering the identities of those who recruited the men and financed their return to Somalia to train and fight.
The men are believed to have been recruited by Al-Shabaab, which has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization with links to Al-Qaida.
Since October 2008, five of the Minnesotans who left have died. A sixth man, a Muslim convert from Minneapolis, also is thought to have been killed.