Minnesota Somali woman found guilty in Somali jihad recruitment case

She lied when asked if she or others helped raise the money that sent at least 22 Somali refugees back to Africa to fight with al-Shabaab in 2007-2008.

Here is one more in a long line of reports on the story we followed from the beginning (here is one of our initial posts).

The remains of Shirwa Ahmed were flown “home” to Minnesota by the FBI for a proper burial after he detonated a bomb strapped to his body and killed 29 innocent people in Somalia in 2008.

From AP at the St. Cloud Times:

MINNEAPOLIS — A 23-year-old woman admitted Thursday that she lied to a grand jury investigating the long-running case of young men who left Minnesota to join a terrorist group in Somalia.

Saynab Hussein pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Minnesota to one count of perjury. She admitted that in June 2009 she lied when she told a grand jury she did not know anyone who raised money for the travelers, when she actually helped raise money herself.

Hussein, who is pregnant and studying nursing at college, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Hussein was charged on Wednesday, making her the 21st person to be charged in the government’s investigation into efforts to recruit fighters and raise money for al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked group at the heart of much of the violence in Somalia in recent years.

Since late 2007, at least 22 young men have left Minnesota to join the terrorist group, which at the time was fighting Ethiopians who were assisting Somalia’s former government.

Some of these Minnesota men have died, some remain at large, and others were among those prosecuted in what the FBI has said is one of the largest efforts to recruit U.S. fighters to a foreign terrorist organization.

The investigation began in the fall of 2008. That October, Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis detonated a suicide bomb in Somalia. Authorities said he was the first known U.S. citizen to carry out a suicide bombing, and they believed he was radicalized in Minnesota.

The following month, the case became public when families of some of the travelers came forward to say their sons were missing.

Her lawyer said lying was “out of character” for her.  She was just young and naive.  She could get five years, but in my mind she should have been charged with being an accessory to murder.

If you type ‘Somali missing youths’ into our search function, I bet we have 50-100 posts on the subject.  In 2009, we attended a disappointing  Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Somali former refugees (aka Jihadists).

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