Khat is a drug that gained notoriety in Black Hawk Down and has been a growing problem in the U.S. as Somali Muslims are imported in larger numbers to the U.S.
Convenience stores, mosque raided in alleged al-Qaida finance scheme
Federal agents have raided several convenience stores and a mosque in tiny Henderson, N.C., while arresting at least two Muslim men in connection with the raid.
Authorities suspect the stores were operating a so-called hawala money-transfer network supporting terrorist activities in Yemen, including al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, WND has learned. AQAP’s leaders include fugitive al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been linked to 10 major terror plots in the past year alone.
Mohamed Mohamed Nagi, 33, and Abdullah Ahmed Almuwallad, 32, have been charged with food stamp fraud. Additionally, Almuwallad has been charged with transporting stolen cigarettes and possession of the illegal stimulant cathinone, more commonly known a khat. Khat is popular in many countries of the Arabian peninsula and the Horn of Africa, but in Yemen it’s a full-blown national addiction.
FBI agents have had both men under surveillance for several months. Federal, state and local law enforcement agents on Thursday searched four stores in Henderson, located about 40 miles north of Raleigh, N.C., including the stores where Nagi and Almuwallad worked. Agents converged on the targets using a helicopter and unmarked cars.
DOJ press release here.