Friday, October 21, 2011
Two African women in Minnesota who claimed that they were helping the poor in Somalia have been convicted of conspiring to funnel money to Islamic terrorist group al-Shabab
After the verdicts, one of the women, Amina Farah Ali, told the judge through an interpreter that she was happy because she was going to heaven no matter what, and condemned those in authority, saying that they would go to hell. She was ordered into custody pending her sentencing. Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, were each charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Ali also faced 12 counts of providing such support, for sending more than $8,600 to al-Shabab from September 2008 through July 2009, while Hassan faced two counts of lying to the FBI. Both were found guilty on all counts. The terrorism-related counts each carry up to 15 years in prison, while lying to the FBI carries up to eight years. The women, both U.S. citizens of Somali descent, were among 20 people charged in Minnesota's long-running federal investigations into recruiting and financing for al-Shabab, an Islamic terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda. Investigators say that at least 21 men left Minnesota — home to the country's largest Somali community — to join al-Shabab.