Prosecutors in Finland have charged four people with financing terrorism for allegedly collecting money for an al-Qaida linked militant group in Somalia.

District Prosecutor Elina Hypponen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it's the first time terror charges have been filed in Finland.

She said the defendants, who were not identified, collected "thousands of euros" to fund terrorist activities by the al-Shabab group in 2008-2011.

One of the defendants was also charged with recruiting members to al-Shabab, which is trying to create an Islamic state in Somalia.

Prosecutors said the defendants rejected the charges.

If convicted they could face up to eight years in prison.