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Terrorism  
Al Shabaab's American Recruits RULE Americans Linked to Al Shabaab

Posted: February 1, 2010


Introduction
Recruitment in the U.S.
Al Shabaab
Americans Linked to Al Shabaab
Previous Somali-Related Terror Arrests

The following is a list of Americans and U.S. residents that have been charged, convicted or otherwise affiliated with Al Shabaab:

  • Omer Abdi Mohamed, a 26-year-old legal permanent resident from St. Anthony, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S. on July 18, 2011. Authorities allege that Mohamed helped recruit six young men to fight in Somalia.  Prior to his arrest, Mohamed reportedly attended Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis and worked as an employment counselor until he was laid off in the fall of 2009.
  • Betim Kaziu, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen from Brooklyn, New York, was convicted on July 7, 2011, for traveling abroad to join terrorist group, including Al Shabaab, and to fight against American forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans.  He was arrested in Kosovo and extradited to the United States.
  • Ahmed Hussein Mahamud, a 26-year-old American citizen from Columbus, Ohio, was charged in an indictment, unsealed in June 2011, with providing material support to Al Shabaab. Mahamud, who was arrested in Ohio, previously lived in Minnesota.
  • Farah Mohamad Beledi, a 27-year-old from Minneapolis, killed two African Union peacekeepers and a Somali soldier during a suicide attack against a military base in Mogadishu on May 30, 2011, according to the FBI. The FBI confirmed Beledi's identity through fingerprint analysis. He was one of 14 people indicted in July 2010 with providing material support to terrorists for their various connections to Al Shabaab.
  • Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud, a 35-year-old from Anaheim, California, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in a California federal court in an indictment that was unsealed on December 3, 2010.  Mohamud allegedly conspired to provide money to Al Shabaab with three other San Diego residents arrested on Al Shabaab-related terror charges – Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud and Issa Doreh.
  • Nima Ali Yusuf, a 24-year-old permanent U.S. resident, was indicted in a San Diego federal court on November 15, 2010. She was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Al Shabaab and making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism.  Yusuf allegedly promised to send money and at least one recruit to Al Shabaab.  She is allegedly linked to Minnesotans who traveled to Somalia to join Al Shabaab.
  • Amina Farah Ali, 33, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 63, both naturalized American citizens from Minnesota, were arrested in August 2010 for raising funds for Al Shabaab through door-to-door solicitations in various Somali communities in the region. They also solicited financial contributions to support terrorist activities in Somalia during various fundraising teleconferences, according to court documents.  The women allegedly raised funds for Al Shabaab "under the false pretense that the funds were for the poor and needy."  The two have pleaded not guilty.
  • Jehad Serwan Mostafa, a 28-year-old American citizen from California, was charged in an indictment unsealed in August 2010 with conspiring to provide material support to Al Shabaab and with fighting with the Somali-based terrorist group. Mostafa, a former student at the University of California San Diego, allegedly left the U.S. in 2005 and remains at large, presumably in Somalia.
  • Abdikadir Ali Abdi, 19, and Abdisalan Hussein Ali, 21, both American citizens from Minnesota, are among ten individuals who remain at large in Somalia – charged in an indictment unsealed in August 2010.  Among other charges, Abdi and Ali are indicted for providing financial support and personnel to Al Shabaab and to a conspiracy to kill abroad.  The other suspects named in the indictment were previously charged for similar terror offenses relating to their alleged involvement with Al Shabaab.
  • Shaker Masri, a 26-year-old American citizen from Chicago, was arrested in August 2010 for planning to travel to Somalia to join Al Shabaab.  Masri allegedly mapped various routes to Somalia, including ones through California, Mexico, Venezuela and Tanzania, to avoid detection by American federal authorities.  He also stated his intentions to become a suicide bomber in Somalia. "I will not stay idle," he said in July 2010.  "I wish to know how to the explosive belt is made… I will wear one and I will not take it off."
  • Zachary Chesser, a 20-year-old American citizen from Virginia who threatened the creators of South Park for satirizing issues surrounding the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, pleaded guilty to attempting to travel to Somalia and join Al Shabaab in October 2010. Chesser was originally apprehended and questioned in July 2010 as he attempted to board a plane to Uganda, with the intention of continuing to Somalia. He later admitted to federal authorities that he had attempted to join Al Shabaab in Somalia on two previous occasions.  He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in February 2011.
  • Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, a 20-year-old American citizen, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, a 24 year-old naturalized American citizen, both New Jersey, were arrested in June 2010 as they attempted to board separate flights to Egypt with the intention of continuing to Somalia to join Al Shabaab.  The men, who have been charged with conspiring to kill, maim, and kidnap persons outside the United States, allegedly planned to kill American troops who they thought would soon be deployed to Somalia to help fight Al Shabaab.  Both men pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to murder people outside the U.S. in March 2011 and face the possibility of life imprisonment. 
  • Mohamed Osman, a 19-year-old from Bayonne, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on September 15, 2010 to charges of making materially false statements to federal investigators in a matter involving international terrorism.  Osman lied to FBI agents during their investigation of Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte who were arrested at JFK Airport en route to join Al Shabaab in Somalia.
  • Omar Hammami, a 25-year-old American citizen from Alabama, has become the public face and voice of Al Shabaab as part of the terrorist organization's effort to recruit English-speakers.  Since the fall of 2007, Hammami has issued written statements on behalf of Al Shabaab and has appeared in the terror group's videos and audio recordings.  Identified in Al Shabaab statements and recordings as Abu Mansour al Amriki (Arabic for "Abu Mansour the American"), Hammami was charged with providing material support to Al Shabaab in an indictment unsealed in August 2010. 
  • Kamal Said Hassan, a 24-year-old a U.S. citizen from Plymouth, Minnesota, pleaded guilty in a Minneapolis federal court to providing material support for terrorism and to a foreign terrorist organization in February 2009, and six months later also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to FBI agents regarding his affiliation with the terrorist organization.  He admitted in federal court to training with Al Shabaab in Somalia.  Before leaving for Somalia, Hassan reportedly attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College in 2006. 
  • Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, a 25-year-old a naturalized U.S. citizen from Seattle, pleaded guilty in a Minneapolis District Court to providing material support to terrorists in April 2009.  He left for Somalia in December 2007 and trained with Al Shabaab in Somalia, according to court documents.  Isse also admitted to investigators that he had contact in Somalia with Shirwa Ahmed, the first known American suicide bomber, who carried out an attack in October 2008.  Prior to his travels to Somalia, Isse was an economics major at Eastern Washington University.

 

·        Salah Osman Ahmed, a 26-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, pleaded guilty in a Minneapolis District Court to providing material support to terrorists in July 2009.  Ahmed traveled to Somalia in December 2007, according to his plea agreement, to fight against Ethiopian troops. Ahmed is a former student at North Hennepin Community College, a parking lot attendant and a security guard.

 

·        Adarus Abdulle Ali, a 25year-old from St. Anthony, Minnesota, pleaded guilty in November 2009 to perjury for making false statements to a federal grand jury.  In December 2008, Ali testified that he did not know anyone who traveled to Somalia; however, he attended a meeting where others discussed traveling to Somalia to fight against Ethiopians. Ali also drove one of the defendants to the Minneapolis airport for his flight to Somalia, according to court documents. 

 

·       Abdow Munye Abdow, a 26-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Chanhassen, Minnesota, pleaded guilty in May 2010 to lying to federal agents during a terrorism investigation.  An indictment filed against Abdow in October 2009 alleged that he lied about being in a rental car that was stopped near Las Vegas with at least two other men who later allegedly traveled to Somalia and are also indicted on terrorism charges.  In addition, Abdow told federal agents that he did not know who paid for the rental car, when in fact, according to court documents, he used his own debit card to pay for the car.  He was sentenced in July 2010 to four months in prison and four months house arrest.  He began serving his sentence in January 2011.

 

·       Mahamud Said Omar, a 43-year-old a legal permanent resident who previously resided in Minneapolis, was arrested in November 2009 in the Netherlands and charged in a U.S. District Court with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main, and injure persons outside the U.S.  The FBI alleges that Omar provided the young Somali-American men with funds to travel to Somalia.  He also reportedly visited an Al Shabaab safe-house and donated money to the group for the purchase of AK-47 rifles for use by the Minneapolis men.  The Dutch Supreme Court approved his extradition in February 2011 and awaits the final decision of the Minister of Justice.

 

·       Ahmed Ali Omar, a 24-year-old legal permanent resident who lived in Minneapolis, was charged in an indictment filed in August 2009 and unsealed in November with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S., possessing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.  The indictment alleged that Omar persuaded four other men to go with him to Somalia to train with Al Shabaab in December 2007.  Omar, who graduated from Edison High School in Minneapolis in 2004, is still at large and believed to be in Somalia.

 

·       Khalid Mohamud Abshir, a 26-year-old legal permanent resident who lived in Minneapolis, was charged in an indictment filed in August 2009 and unsealed in November with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S., and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.  The indictment alleged that Abshir persuaded four other men to go with him to Somalia to train with Al Shabaab in December 2007.  Abshir, who previously worked at a car-rental company, is still at large and believed to be in Somalia.

 

·       Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an 18-year-old  legal permanent resident who lived in Minneapolis, was charged in an indictment filed in August 2009 and unsealed in November with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, and also with conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S.  Hassan reportedly left for Somalia in August 2008 a year before graduating from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.  He is still at large and believed to be outside the U.S. presumably in Somalia, according to the FBI.

 

·       Mustafa Ali Salat, an 18-year-old  legal permanent resident who lived in St. Paul, was charged in an indictment filed in August 2009 and unsealed in November with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S.  Salat reportedly left for Somalia in August 2008 a year before graduating from Harding High School in St. Paul.  He is still at large and believed to be outside the U.S. presumably in Somalia, according to the FBI.

 

·       Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, a 32-year-old  naturalized U.S. citizen from Minneapolis, was charged in October 2009 for conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S.  According to court documents, Faarax previously fought with Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2007 and later returned to Minneapolis where he encouraged others to travel to Somalia to fight.  Faarax, who previously worked as a cab driver, is still at large and was last seen in October 2009 at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing. 

 

·       Abdiweli Yassin Isse, 25-years-old from Minneapolis, was charged in October 2009 for conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S.  According to court documents, Isse raised money to buy airplane tickets for other defendants to travel to Somalia to fight "jihad" against Ethiopians.  Isse, who previously worked at a money-wiring service, is still at large and was last seen in October 2009 at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing.

 

·       Zakaria Maruf, a 30-year-old  legal permanent resident who lived in Minneapolis, was charged in an indictment filed in August 2009 and unsealed in November with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons outside the U.S.  Maruf, who previously belonged to a violent street gang in Minneapolis, gave an interview in January 2009 to Andalus Radio, a station in Somalia, about why he and others went to Somalia.  In the interview, Maruf claimed that they went to Somalia after they "heard the verses from Allah," and those that are there "hold the highest position in the sight of Allah."  Maruf's family has reportedly claimed he was killed while fighting in Somalia in July 2009.

 

·       Shirwa Ahmed, a 27-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who lived in Minneapolis, was reportedly the first known American suicide bomber. Ahmed, carried out a suicide attack in October 2008 on the United Nations compound, the Ethiopian Consulate and the presidential palace in Hargeisa, killing 24 people.  Ahmed, who graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis in 2000, was one of six men who left Minnesota for Somalia in December 2007 and attended an Al Shabaab training camp.

 

·        Ruben Shumpert, a 26-year-old American Muslim convert from Seattle, allegedly fled to Somalia while free on bond after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm and transferring counterfeit U.S. currency.  Officials suspect that Shumpert was working with Al Shabaab when he was killed in a missile strike in Somalia in 2008.

  • Burhan Hassan, of Minneapolis, allegedly left during his senior year at Roosevelt High School in November 2008 and traveled to Somalia.  Media reports indicate that Hassan was killed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in June 2009 when he was 17 years old.

 

  • Mohamoud Hassan, of Minneapolis, allegedly left for Somalia in November 2008.  Hassan, a former engineering student at the University of Minnesota, was reportedly killed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in September 2009 when he was 23 years old.
  • Jamal Bana, of Minneapolis, allegedly left for Somalia in November 2008 while studying engineering at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Normandale College.  Reports indicate that Bana was killed in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in July 2009 when he was 19 years old.
  • Troy Kastigar, an American-born Muslim convert from Minneapolis, allegedly left for Somalia in November 2008.  Kastigar's family reportedly received information that he was killed in September 2009, when he was 28 years old.




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