A Minnesota man accused of helping to recruit and finance U.S. fighters for an overseas terrorist group heads to trial Monday in a case that’s expected to show how some young Somali expatriates in Minneapolis were persuaded to risk their lives for insurgents back home.
Mahamud Said Omar, 46, faces five terrorism-related counts as part of a much broader investigation into recruiting by al-Shabab, designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group that is linked to al Qaeda and that lies at the center of much of the violence in Somalia.
Prosecutors say Mr. Omar gave money to men who traveled to Somalia in 2007 and went there himself in early 2008. In their account, Mr. Omar stayed at a safe house in the city of Marka with other Minnesotans — including Shirwa Ahmed, who the FBI said was radicalized in Minneapolis and would later become the first known U.S. citizen to carry out a suicide bombing.
At the safe house, prosecutors say, Mr. Omar gave provisions to men and discussed training and fighting for al-Shabab. He also is accused of giving hundreds of dollars to fighters so they could buy AK-47 assault rifles.
Prosecutors also intend to play recordings of phone calls, in which Mr. Omar is accused of talking about an “uproar” in Minneapolis, plans for some men to leave the city and the fighting overseas. At least two men who traveled to Somalia and spent time with al-Shabab are also expected to testify.
Source: Associated Press, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/30/minnesotan-faces-terrorism-charges-said-to-recruit/