A Somali man was sentenced in a San Antonio courtroom Thursday to 15 years in federal prison for lying to get into the U.S., as well as a never-before-disclosed admission that he had helped a terrorist group.
Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim, 43, previously admitted that he lied his way into the country or left out damaging details — such as his relationship to two people who made international headlines because of their reported ties to terrorist groups.
But the FBI, Border Patrol, acting U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin and a national security official disclosed Thursday that Ibrahim secretly also pleaded guilty in July to sending e-mails in support of al-Shabab and providing money to a friend affiliated with that terrorist group. The charges were made public at his sentencing Thursday, but officials made no mention of his cooperation that led to them keeping the details secret for more than six months.
The affidavit said Ayrow was the former leader of al-Shabab and was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2008. Aweys was affiliated with al-Shabab and al-Ittihad al-Islami, which the U.S. has placed on a list of specially designated global terrorist groups.
Ibrahim was granted refugee status in the U.S. and resettled in Emporia, Kansas, after coming through Hidalgo in May 2007. But the status was granted based on fraudulent information, the affidavit said.
He claimed he was of the minority Awer clan. He confirmed to FBI agents that he lied when he stated on his immigration forms that he fled Somalia in 1991 because militias killed his mother and that he never returned to Somalia after 1991.
The affidavit said Ibrahim also admitted to agents that he forged a close friendship with a man he knew only as “Hamza,” who joined al-Shabab around the time Ibrahim came to the U.S. Ibrahim sent $100 to Hamza through a U.S.-based hawala — an informal money broker — knowing Hamza was a member of al-Shabab, he acknowledged to agents.
Ibrahim, the affidavit said, knew that he was lying when he answered “no” on an immigration form asking him if he ever provided material assistance to any person or organization involved in sabotage, kidnapping, political assassination, hijacking or other form of terrorist activity.
Typical of late, sloppy reporting that leaves out what or who Ayrow and Awer might be.
A very tiny bit more information from the
inJustice Dept website: Somali Citizen Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Al-Shabaab
Ibrahim admitted that from about May 18, 2010, to about Jan. 31, 2014, he knowingly conspired to provide material support and resources, specifically sending emails enlisting support for al-Shabaab and making a cash payment to a known member of al-Shabaab for the benefit of the organization. Ibrahim knew at the time that al-Shabaab was designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization.
Ibrahim also pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an immigration matter. According to the information, Ibrahim knowingly lied in his application for naturalization as he had previously lied on his request for refugee status, falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan. However, Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution. Ibrahim also admitted he had lied on his naturalization application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an al-Shabaab member.
Update from Refugee Resettlement Watch:
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