MINNEAPOLIS – A Minneapolis man was arraigned Thursday on terrorism charges in a federal investigation into the recruitment of Minnesota Somalis to fight in Somalia, the seventh person to face charges in the case.
Omer Abdi Mohamed was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure.
As many as 20 young Somali men left the Twin Cities over the last two years for Somalia, and are believed to have joined the terror group al-Shabab. At least three have died, including one who carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia in October 2008.
Mohamed's attorney, Peter Wold, says Mohamed did not travel to Somalia. Wold said his client had been under investigation for several months for alleged activity in 2007. He was arrested earlier Thursday at an unknown location after being indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday.
No details about Mohamed's alleged activities emerged at his arraignment. Papers filed in the case weren't immediately available.
Three men already have pleaded guilty to charges similar to those brought against Mohamed. All three — Kamal Hassan, Salah Osman Ahmed and Abdifatah Yusuf Isse — admitted spending time at training camps in Somalia run by al-Shabab.
Another Minneapolis man, Mohamud Said Omar, was arrested earlier this month in the Netherlands, accused of financing the purchase of weapons for Islamic militants and helping other Somalis travel to Somalia in 2007 and 2008.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a socialist dictator and then turned on each other, causing chaos in the African nation of 7 million.