Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

9 to be sentenced in Minneapolis in Somali terror case

Author:

Sentencing is expected this week in a U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for nine Somali Americans from Minnesota convicted in a government probe of terror recruitment and financing for a group in Somalia linked to al-Qaida, the Associated Press reports.

The sentencings would mark a closing chapter in a long and complex case dating to 2007, when small groups of young Somali men began holding secret meetings in Minnesota to plot a return to Somalia to wage jihad against Ethiopians, the AP reports.

More than 20 young men have left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in the last six years, officials say. Some have died, several are still being sought by authorities, and others have been prosecuted in what the FBI has said is one of the largest efforts to recruit U.S. fighters to a foreign terrorist organization, the AP notes.

Three days of hearings are expected this week in front of U.S. District Judge Michael Davis to determine the fate of the nine men, the Star Tribune reports.

Prosecutors say the nine defendants are recruiters, supporters and participants in Al-Shabab, and the U.S. attorney’s office is recommending sentences ranging from five to 50 years, the Star Tribune reports.

Lawyers for the men say their clients are not terrorists, and they argue that the men got caught up in a patriotic effort to defend their homeland against invading Ethiopian troops. The men did not realize until too late that Al-Shabab’s actions had devolved into atrocities, their lawyers say.

The Star Tribune has an at-a-glance timeline of events in the case.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov's slow start is a thing of the past

A potential sophomore slump has been erased with a three-point night against the Devils..

mpd aldi incident screengrab

Video shows MPD officer grab, throw Aldi customer

The department says the matter was referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review.

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.

covid

3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

Related

Feds on verge of plea bargain in Somali terrorism case

A lawyer for Ahmed Hussein Mahamud says a plea agreement is in the works. Mahamud is among 20 people who have been charged with helping the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab.

Judge orders defendant in Somali terror case back to jail

Omer Abdi Mohamed, 27, of Minneapolis, is alleged to have been a key part of an effort to recruit locals to return to Somalia to fight for the terrorist group al-Shabaab, although friends say he has done nothing wrong – and that in fact, he is a role model for young people. But a judge on Wednesday said he needs to be put back in jail, the Pioneer Press reports. He had been free awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty last year to a terrorism-related charge.