A one-time Muslim janitor at a Minneapolis mosque was found guilty of conspiring to help an al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic terrorist group, al-Shabaab, recruit young Minnesota Muslim men for a holy war in their native Somalia.
Star Tribune (H/T Rob E) A federal jury in Minneapolis deliberated about 8 1/2 hours before convicting Mahamud Said Omar, 46, in a case that provided the clearest picture to date of a worldwide investigation into the recruiting of at least 20 young men to fight in Somalia with Al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terror group.
Omar, of Minneapolis, rocked gently in his seat and studied the jurors dispassionately as the verdict was read. Guilty on: conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing material support to terrorists; conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely, the Islamist group Al-Shabab; providing material support to Al-Shabab.
Each of those charges carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Omar swallowed hard in advance of the last verdict, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison: guilty of conspiring to kill or maim people.
Omar, dressed in a black sports coat and blue pinstriped shirt, shook it off quickly. As deputies led him from the courtroom, he turned to his family members, smiled broadly and raised both hands over his head, as if declaring victory.
A Somali group with ties to Al Qaeda has recruited and radicalized more than 40 American Muslims to join their cause in war-ravaged Somalia, according to a report by a US Congressional committee.
“We’re going to go lick our wounds,” said Jon Hopeman, one of Omar’s three attorneys. He said Omar would appeal. The government withheld considerable information it had developed under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretaps, “so we’re going to look at that,” Hopeman said.
Omar’s family members declined to comment, referring questions to community activist Omar Jamal. “They were not expecting this,” he said. “They are a little bit shocked.”
Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen’s new video, “And Incite the Believers,” features fighters from abroad, mostly of Somali descent.
Jihadology The video clearly states in the intro that it is a recruiting video for those abroad. It features a number of foreigners & diaspora. Among those quoted in the video are Saleh ‘Ali Saleh al-Nabhani (killed in U.S. military strike Sep. 14, 2009) and Abu Yahya al-Libi. The foreign fighters hail from the U.S., Sweden, Britain, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, and Pakistan.