Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
Loading

Featured Posts        



categories        



Links        



archives        



meta        




Aug 7th, 2010


U.S. Indicts 14 Accused of Supporting Terrorist Group in Somalia


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. took on the Shabab.
(Photo credit: Larry Downing / Reuters via The New York Times)

By Charlie Savage

August 6, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Thursday announced the indictment of 14 people — many of them United States citizens — accused of funneling “money, personnel and services” to the Shabab, the Islamist terrorist group fighting an insurgency in Somalia.

The newly unsealed indictments included charges against two women arrested Thursday in Rochester, Minn., who are accused of raising money and sending it to the Shabab, as well as charges against Omar Hammami, an Alabama man who has appeared in videos promoting the group and is believed to have become a crucial Shabab figure.

“The indictments unsealed today shed further light on a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and fighters to the Al Shabab terror organization from cities across the United States,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said. “These arrests and charges should serve as an unmistakable warning to others considering joining terrorist groups like Al Shabab — 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 14 people indicted Thursday included eight people who had been previously charged, the Justice Department said. Most of the people are not in custody and are believed to be in Somalia, including several recruits who have been killed, according to their families.

The charges are the latest expansion of an investigation that began in late 2008 when a group of young men from the Somali immigrant community in Minneapolis — many of whom were born in the United States or became citizens — disappeared and turned up fighting in Somalia. By last year, roughly two dozen men had landed in Somalia to join the Shabab; one became the first known United States citizen to carry out a suicide bombing.

Investigators have said the primary motivation of the waves of young men traveling to Somalia initially was nationalism: they were outraged by Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia. But over time that motivation has blended into the Islamist ideology espoused by the Shabab, and counterterrorism officials have worried that the group could send one of the recruits back to the United States to carry out an attack.

The Shabab have ties to Al Qaeda, and there is evidence that its members are starting to look beyond local concerns. Last month, in what is believed to have been the Shabab’s first attack outside Somalia, the group is suspected of carrying out two suicide bombings in Uganda that killed 64 people.

Mr. Holder said there was no evidence that any of the people charged in connection with the Minneapolis investigation had plans to come back to carry out attacks inside the United States. Still, he called their involvement part of a “disturbing trend” of increasing interest in violent Islamist groups among United States citizens.

———

8/8/10 Update

Women used God’s work as cover, FBI says (Star Tribune, Aug. 8, 2010) — Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan of Rochester, indicted last week, weren’t collecting cash for poverty-stricken grandparents, but for the violent terrorist organization Al-Shabab, officials say. … Full story

———

Video

U.S. indicts 14 suspected terrorists (MSNBC, Aug. 7, 2010) – MSNBC’s Alex Witt talks with Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress about the U.S. unveiling indictments against 14 suspected terrorists, 12 of them Minnesota Somalis. (03:37)

———

Related reports on this site

Yemen-Somalia Terror Nexus (Jan. 12, 2010)

Image: Somali refugees in Yemen
Somali refugees gather in the village of Basateen near the Yemeni port city of Aden on May 17, 2009. Basateen is often called “small Somalia” because of the number of Somali refugees who live there. (Photo credit: Khaled Fazaa / AFP — Getty Images file)

FBI Probing Somali Terror Link (March 12, 2009)

Image: Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center
Worshippers at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s largest mosque. The mosque is suspected by the families of some missing Somali men of having a role in their loved ones’ disappearance. (Photo credit: Craig Lassig / AP)

Minnesota Somalis Jihad-Bound? (Jan. 26, 2009)

Image: Burhan Hassan
Burhan Hassan was one of many young Somali men who went missing from Minneapolis last year. His family suspects he was recruited by radical elements in Somalia. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)

———

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — August 7, 2009

Image: Bombed bus
A policeman secures the scene of a roadside bomb blast that hit a minibus carrying Shiite pilgrims in Sadr City, in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

Paroxysm of Violence in Iraq

One year ago today, I reported that a suicide car bomb devastated a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq, one of a series of attacks that killed at least 40 and wounded about 100 Iraqis. I also reported that Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud had been killed in a CIA missile strike.

———

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — August 7, 2008

Sgt. Janelle Johnson, center, goes for a walk with her husband Chad, and two daughters, Elizabeth, right, and Emily in Cushing, Minn., Thursday, April 3, 2008. Johnson served in Iraq for 16 months. Her daughters, Emily and Elizabeth, were 6 months and 4 years old, respectively, when she was deployed.
Sgt. Janelle Johnson (center) goes for a walk with her husband Chad, and two daughters, Elizabeth (right) and Emily in Cushing, Minn., April 3, 2008. Johnson served in Iraq for 16 months. Her daughters, Emily and Elizabeth, were 6 months and 4 years old, respectively, when she was deployed. When Johnson found out about her extended deployment, she dreaded telling Elizabeth that the family would have to put off a trip to Disney World. (Photo credit: Jae C. Hong / The Associated Press)

On the Campaign Trail: Day 24

Two years ago today, on the 24th day of my 2008 campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I announced the August 9 kick-off of my walking tour from Freeport in the northwestern corner of the Sixth District to Stillwater in the southeast, on the Wisconsin border. I also posted a public service announcement to help draw attention to the sacrifice of National Guard citizen soldiers serving in Iraq and the families they leave behind.

Be Sociable, Share!




10 Responses to “Somali Terror Suspects Indicted”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Yemen-Somalia Terror Nexus Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » FBI Probing Somali Terror Link Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Minnesota Somalis Jihad-Bound? Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » New Post-9/11 Terrorist Strategy Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Portland Somali Car Bomb Sting Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  6. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Fears of ‘Homegrown Terrorism’ Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  7. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Baltimore Bomb Plot ‘Jihad’ Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  8. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Somali Terrorist Attack on U.S. Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  9. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Somali Gangs Expand U.S. Reach Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted (Aug. 7, 2010) [...]

  10. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Darkest Day in Afghanistan War Says:

    [...] Somali Terror Suspects Indicted [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.