Saturday, December 04, 2010
Fourth man indicted in Somali terrorism case
By Greg Moran , UNION-TRIBUNE
SAN DIEGO — A federal grand jury in San Diego indicted a fourth man on Friday for conspiring to aid the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab by helping send money to the militia group.
Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud, 35, of Anaheim was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and money laundering.
The indictment was handed up on Nov. 19 but not unsealed until Friday afternoon, when Mohamud appeared in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler and pleaded not guilty.
He remains in federal jail downtown without bail pending a Dec. 7 hearing. Federal prosecutors want him detained because they said he is a flight risk and a danger to the community.
The indictment said Mohamud was involved with three San Diego men who were indicted in October on the same charges of conspiring to provide help to al-Shabaab. They are Issa Doreh, 54, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 33, and Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 38. They have pleaded not guilty.
Those three had a court hearing Friday at which a lawyer for Mohamud indicated federal authorities are still probing links between the San Diego Somali immigrant community and al-Shabaab.
Mahir Sherif told U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller that he has been told the government has been subpoenaing people from the Somali community to testify before a grand jury. Outside of court, Assistant U.S Attorney William Cole, one of the prosecutors on the case, declined to comment on Sherif’s statement.
The indictment against the three men alleged that Moalin raised money on behalf of an al-Shabaab military leader, and then coordinated fundraising and money transfers with Mohamud and Doreh. The charges are built in large part on FBI wiretap recordings of phone calls of the defendants. Cole told Miller there are some 1,200 such recordings that will be turned over to the defense, though about 120 of them are material to the case, he estimated.
Prosecutors will also turn over electronic and paper records from a money transfer business that they allege was used to ship the money.
The indictment unsealed Friday against Ahmed Mohamud alleges that in one call in December 2007 Moalin told him that money was needed for “the young men who are firing the bullets.” In a July 2008 phone call, the two said they would “lay low” and then “proceed with financial support under the ‘pretense’ of helping the poor,” according to the indictment.
Cole said he did not know if Ahmed Mohamud was related to Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud.
Federal prosecutors have also charged a woman, Nima Yusuf, 24, with providing support to al-Shabaab by sending at least $800 to fighters in the militia and allegedly agreeing to help recruit one man in San Diego. She has pleaded not guilty.