San Diegan who funded ISIS efforts sentenced to 20 years Monday, Oct. 17

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A former San Diego resident who helped fund the travel of North Americans who fought overseas for ISIS was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi, 37, pleaded guilty last year to federal charges stemming from his financial assistance of six Americans and Canadians who traveled to Syria to engage in “armed battles to gain control of the territories and civilian populations within Syria” on behalf of ISIS, according to prosecutors.

All six of those individuals died, including Douglas McClain, another former San Diego resident who is believed to be the first American to die while fighting for ISIS.

Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year sentence for Abdullahi, who wired funds to ISIS members overseas and took part in an armed robbery of a Canadian jewelry store in order to acquire money to pay for his co-conspirators’ travel.

According to the prosecution’s sentencing papers, Abdullahi’s main role was to serve as a “North American facilitator of ISIS foreign fighters.”

In addition to the jewelry store hold-up, prosecutors say Abdullahi encouraged others to commit crimes such as theft in order to collect funds to support
terrorist activities.

Abdullahi helped pay for the travel of McClain, four of Abdullahi’scousins and another person from Canada, all six of whom died in 2014 while
fighting for ISIS.

The prosecution’s sentencing papers state that Abdullahi’s family and the McClain family previously lived near Minneapolis, then moved to San Diego, where Abdullahi lived for about six years. Abdullahi’s family later moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where he committed the jewelry store robbery in January of 2014.

A grand jury returned an indictment charging Abdullahi in 2017 and he was arrested about six months later by Canadian authorities.

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