A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday sentenced three men to three years in prison and handed down a 12-year prison term to a fourth for aiding in the recruitment of fighters for al-Shabaab, an outlawed Somali Islamist militant group.
Abdifatah Isse, Salah Ahmed and Ahmed Mahamud were each given three-year prison terms by Judge Michael Davis of the Minneapolis Federal Court after they pleaded guilty to providing material support to al-Shabab.
Isse and Ahmed had earlier admitted to traveling to Somalia in December 2007 for attending an al-Shabaab training camp. They spent a week at the camp, but left the East African state in the spring of 2008 after having second thoughts.
Mahamud, on the other hand, admitted that he had raised money for other recruits to travel to Somalia. Although he as well as Isse and Ahmed faced a maximum of 15 years in prison, prosecutors recommended lesser sentences for the trio due to their cooperation with investigators.
The fourth person sentenced on Tuesday in the same case was 28-year-old Omer Abdi Mohamed, who received a 12-year prison term. He had pleaded guilty in July 2011 to one count of conspiring to provide material support to co-conspirators who intended to murder, kidnap, or maim Ethiopian and Somali government troops.
“These defendants, by providing material support to a designated terrorist organization, broke both the law and the hearts of family members across the Twin Cities,” Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, said in a statement after the sentencing.
Al-Shabaab is Somalia’s most prominent and influential Islamist militant unit. The al-Qaeda aligned outfit has been branded as a terrorist organization by the United States and most of the international community. It is the military wing of the Islamist movement ousted by Ethiopia-backed Somali forces in 2006.
Your mainstream media will be reporting this any day now. Not.