Somali found guilty in Somali murders in Minneapolis

This is news that’s been kicking around my in-box for over a week, and since I’m going away for a couple of days, I’m trying to clean up old news.   We’ve reported on this case on several occasions, most recently here on September 12th.

From Minnesota Public Radio:

Minneapolis — Mahdi Hassan Ali was found guilty of multiple counts of first degree murder today by a Hennepin County jury.

The jury found Ali guilty of killing three men during a failed robbery attempt at the Seward Market in Minneapolis last year.

The crime was the city’s first triple homicide since 1996, and shocked the Somali community.

The courtroom was packed, as it had been daily during the trial, with Somalis and other East African immigrants. Many of them are related to the slain men — a few related to the accused killer. As Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read the first guilty verdict, one of the victims’ relatives silently and discretely pumped his right arm in celebration.

Now, besides supporting him as a refugee for the last few years, taxpayers get to support him for life behind bars.  Isn’t saving the poor and downtrodden of the third world a wondrous thing!

Somali terror funding trial continues in Minneapolis; Omar wants different interpreter

The terror funding trial of Mahamud Said Omar who was captured and extradited from the Netherlands continued in Minnesota.  Omar complains (in between passing out in court) that he doesn’t understand the dialect of the Somali language interpreter and wants a new one.

From AP:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab asked a federal judge for a new court interpreter Friday, saying their client doesn’t fully understand the current translator because he speaks a different dialect of Somali.

But prosecutors said Mahamud Said Omar — who was arrested in the Netherlands in 2009 and extradited to the United States last month — has given interviews while in custody that show he was “perfectly fluent” in what is often called the standard Somali dialect.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis took the issue under advisement.

Omar, 45, is charged as part of the U.S. government’s investigation into the recruitment of at least 21 men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia. He’s been indicted on five counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Court documents filed by prosecutors suggest Omar helped with recruiting and provided money to some of the travelers, as well as funding for assault rifles and an al-Shabab safehouse while in Somalia in 2008. They also say he hosted a gathering for some travelers days before they left Minnesota.

His family has said he is innocent.  [We had learned earlier, here, that Omar was a former “homeless” refugee living in Rochester, MN.]

The court is actually considering letting him out of jail during the trial.   And, holy cow, he has been in the US since 1993 (guess he never did take to that notion of finding the American dream, or learning English for that matter)!

Docherty [assistant US attorney] noted Omar has lived in the U.S. since 1993 and has held jobs.
Friday’s hearing was a continuation of one that ended abruptly last month after Omar collapsed. There was a brief scare again on Friday as Omar’s body became rigid when his brother took the stand. It appeared he might collapse again, but he recovered.

Forsgren said he believed his client was overcome by the stress of seeing his brother testify. The attorney said Omar’s medical issues are still unknown.

A hearing to address whether Omar will stay in custody pending trial has been scheduled for next month.

For new readers this story started way back in 2008 with the discovery that at least a couple dozen US citizen Somali youths had slipped away from the good life in America to become Jihad fighters in Africa, here.

Oh, and one more thing, most taxpayers have no clue how expensive these court interpreters are to local courts.  Some counties can run up tabs in the millions of dollars supplying interpreters for crimes from traffic violations all the way up to major crimes and cases because the federal government demands it—-consider it one more unfunded federal mandate.