San Diegans charged with aiding terrorists plead not guilty

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two of three San Diego men accused of funneling money to a Somalia-based terrorist organization pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges.

Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 38, and Issa Doreh, 54, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

A third defendant was arraigned Tuesday. Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 33, faces the same charges as his co-defendants, along with an additional count of providing material support to terrorists.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo ordered the defendants to remain in custody pending a detention hearing on Friday, when bail will be discussed.

Prosecutors described the defendants as a flight risk, while the judge said they could also be considered dangerous, based on his reading of the indictment.

About 50 supporters of the defendants filled the courtroom and an adjacent hallway, but neither they nor the lawyers involved in the case would speak to reporters.

The indictment, handed up on Oct. 22, alleges all three defendants conspired to send money to al-Shabaab, based in the East African country.

The indictment alleges that in late 2007 and early 2008, a top military leader of the terrorist group asked for money from Moalin, who coordinated fund- raising efforts and financial transfers with his co-defendants.

Moalin also allegedly provided a house in Somalia to al-Shabaab, knowing it would be used to prepare for and carry out killings.

Money was sent to the organization even after the military leader died, according to the indictment.

Moalin was arrested Sunday, just before he was to board a flight at Lindbergh Field, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mohamud and Doreh were taken into custody on Monday.

The arrests were made by FBI agents, with help from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers.

The indictment describes al-Shabaab as a group that uses assassinations, improvised explosives devices, rockets, mortars, automatic weapons, suicide bombings and other tactics of intimidation and violence to undermine Somalia's government and its supporters.

Al-Shabaab was in the news late last week when its members executed a pair of teenage girls by firing squad in a central Somali town, after accusing them of spying for the United States. Townspeople were forced to watch the shooting.

The organization, based in southern Somalia, imposes a Taliban-style religious order in areas under its control. Some of its fighters have trained in Afghanistan and are linked to al-Qaeda, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

Many of al-Shabaab's attacks are against aid workers and African Union peacekeepers, according to the NCTC.

Categories: KUSI