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Continued: Two Rochester women get 10, 20 years for aiding Somalia terrorists

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 17, 2013 - 10:06 AM

Steven Ward, who prosecuted the case, said Ali was heard on a wiretap supporting Al-Shabab, saying she supported a suicide bombing and “let the civilians die.”

At Hassan’s sentencing, her attorney, Randy Daar said that in hindsight, she realized that Al-Shabab “has done terrible things.”

He said his client’s mother was raped and killed, dying in her daughter’s arms, and that her activity could be linked to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

But Paulsen said any PTSD link was unsubstantiated.

Also Thursday, Abdarus Abdulle Ali, 29, was given two years for lying to a grand jury.

The Columbia Heights man had pleaded guilty in 2009 to lying to a grand jury about meetings he attended and money he contributed in support of Al-Shabab.


Randy Furst • 612-673-4224


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  • timeline

    June 2006: Islamic Courts Union (ICU) of which Al-Shabab is an entity, takes control of Mogadishu, Somalia

    December 2006: Ethiopia invades Somalia, invited by the Somali Transitional Federal Government, prosecutors say. Others say invasion had U.S. backing to overthrow ICU.

    More than 1,000 Somalis rally in Minneapolis to call for immediate Ethiopian withdrawal.

    Mid 2007: ICU dismantled, Al-Shabab influence grows.

    December 2007: The first of about 20 young men leave Minneapolis and travel to Somalia to train and fight with Al-Shabab.

    February 2008: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designates Al-Shabab a terrorist organization.

    October 2008: Shirwa Ahmed, 26, of Minneapolis, dies in a car-bombing in Somalia. He is believed to be the first American suicide bomber.

    June-July 2009: Three Minneapolis men killed in Mogadishu.

    July 2009: Two Somali men with local ties are the first to be indicted on a charge of aiding terrorism.

    September 2009: A fifth Somali man from Minneapolis and a Muslim convert from Minneapolis are killed in Mogadishu.

    June 20, 2011: Number of men charged in Minnesota with supporting terrorism reaches 20.

    Oct. 20, 2011: Two Rochester women are convicted of conspiring to provide support to a foreign terrorist group but weren’t connected to the recruitment of fighters.

    Oct. 18, 2012: One-time mosque janitor Mahamud Said Omar found guilty of five terror-related charges.

    May. 13-16, 2013: U.S. Chief Judge Michael Davis to sentence nine people.

    the sentences

    Amina Farah Ali


    20 years: She collected money from fundraisers for the needy in Somalia and funneled some of it to Al-Shabab.

    Hawo Mohamed Hassa Rochester

    10 years: She helped collect money for the needy in Somalia and funneled some of it to Al-Shabab.

    Mahamud Said Omar


    20 years: A former mosque janitor who helped arrange travel of young men to Somalia to fight, went to Somalia himself and provided cash for rifles.

    Omer Abdi Mohamed


    12 years: A “middleman” who helped send young men from Minneapolis to Somalia.

    Kamal Said Hassan


    10 years: He went to Somalia to fight and helped Al-Shabab make an English-language recruiting video. His sentence was reduced because of his “extraordinary cooperation” with the investigation.

    Abdifatah Yusuf Isse


    3 years: He went to Somalia to fight and earned a reduced sentence by cooperating with the investigation.

    Salah Osman Ahmed

    Brooklyn Park

    3 years: He traveled to Somalia and trained with Al-Shabab. He also cooperated with the investigation.

    Ahmed Hussein Mahamud

    Westerville, Ohio (formerly) of Eden Prairie

    3 years: He raised up to $1,500 to send recruits to Somalia.

    Abdarus Abudulle Ali

    Columbia Heights

    2 years: He attended meetings and gave money in support of Al-Shabab.

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