US jury convicts 4 Somali immigrants including an imam of terrorist support
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A federal jury on Friday convicted four Somali immigrants - including an imam from a local mosque - of conspiring to funnel money to a terrorist group in their native country.
After a three-week trial and three days of deliberations, the jury convicted the four men of conspiring to raise and send money to Somalia's al-Shabaab. The men coordinated fundraising efforts and sent nearly US$9,000 (S$11,136) to al-Shabaab between 2007 and 2008, prosecutors said.
The US Department of State designated al-Shabaab a terrorist group in 2008, saying it was responsible for targeted civilian assassinations and bombings in Somalia. Federal prosecutors have since cracked down on the group's US support with the arrests of some two dozen people.
Those convicted Friday include 40-year-old Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, who prosecutors said used his connections as a popular imam at a mosque in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood to raise money for the group. The other defendants were two San Diego taxi drivers, 36-year-old Basaaly Saeed Moalin and 56-year-old Issa Doreh, and 37-year-old Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud, whose financial transfer busin -ess Shidaal Express was used to route the money, prosecutors said.