San Diego Somali religious leader accused of aiding terror group

Update November 5:  More on this case here.  This story brings to mind a report from a year ago where it was surmised that the Minnesota Somali pipeline back to Africa flows through San Diego, here.

Somalis seem to be keeping American courts busy these days.  I just minutes ago wrote about the Somali charged in San Antonio with helping illegal aliens enter the US (here) and then up pops this story from San Diego.

From SignOn San Diego:

SAN DIEGO — The arrest of the leader of a City Heights mosque, a man described as a revered figure who was known for advocating nonviolence and tolerance, has stunned the close-knit Somali community in City Heights, where many refugees of the war-torn country live, work and pray.

Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 38, appeared in federal court Wednesday to answer to charges that he was involved in a conspiracy to provide money and other aid to al-Shabaab in Somalia, which U.S. authorities have designated a foreign terrorist organization.

Mohamud and co-defendant Issa Doreh, 54, pleaded not guilty. A third defendant, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 33, pleaded not guilty to similar charges Tuesday.

Mohamud has been the imam — the religious leader — of Masjid Al-Ansar on Winona Avenue for 10 years, said Bashir Hassan, secretary of the small mosque that primarily serves Somali refugees. Doreh and Moalin both attended the mosque, Hassan said.


San Diego’s Somali community, estimated at more than 10,000 people, is the second largest in the United States, behind Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

Every city with a Somali population has a Somali “communty center” of some sort ostensibly to help refugees get settled and get signed up for government goodies.   These so-called Ethnic Community Based Organizations are usually funded by taxpayers.  It would be interesting to learn how or why this ECBO in San Diego, connected to one of the three arrested, is now defunct.

Doreh, a longtime San Diego resident, was at one time president of the now defunct Somali Community of San Diego, one of many nonprofit organizations that were launched in the early 1990s when many Somali refugees came to the area.

For new readers: We have admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees to the US.   To check out the numbers visit this post, probably our most widely read post over the last few years.   In FY2010 which ended September 30th the US State Department resettled 4,884 Somalis (here) to towns near you.

Also, after being closed for nearly two years, the US State Department is on the verge of resuming the fraud-ridden family reunification program that admitted as many as 36,000 Somalis fraudulently to the US between 2003 and 2008.  See the latest on new regulations, here.

Somali asylum seeker denies he helped smuggle terrorists to US

This case from San Antonio gives us a little window into the human smuggling industry that might be responsible for bringing Islamic terrorists across the southern border.  We have told you about other cases of Somalis coming across our border illegally here and here.

From the San Antonio News-Express

A Somali man suspected of having ties to terror groups pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of making false statements on an application for U.S. asylum, but chose to go to trial on a third charge in San Antonio.

Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane, 24, has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since entering the country through Brownsville in March 2008 and later applying for asylum.

Dhakane admitted he mischaracterized how he entered the country, including details about his life in Brazil, and that he falsely passed off a woman as his wife so she also could enter the United States.

He faces up to 25 years on each charge. The indictment alleges he raped and threatened the woman, which he denied.

The multi-agency Joint Terrorism Task Force alleges in an indictment that he failed to disclose on his application that from before Sept. 11, 2001, through January 2003, Dhakane had been a member of the wire-transfer network Al-Barakat and an Islamic militant group in Somalia, Al-Ittihad Al-Islami (AIAI), both on the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Terrorist entities.

Dhakane told U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez that he’s Christian and denied links to terrorist groups. Rodriguez set trial on those allegations for Nov. 15.

He says he is a Christian?  He already admitted to a couple of big lies, then we are expected to believe he is telling the truth now.

The indictment also alleged Dhakane failed to say he was part of and later ran a large-scale organization that smuggled, or tried to smuggle, hundreds of people from Brazil into the United States, among them “several AIAI-affiliated Somalis.”

Dhakane told the judge he denied being part of any smuggling group.