MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Somali man who’s been in custody more than two years on terror charges will be released to his family’s home in Minnesota under strict conditions while he awaits sentencing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Kamal Said Hassan, 26, was one of about 20 young men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join the terror group al-Shabab in Somalia. Hassan pleaded guilty in 2009 to three counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

He’s been in custody at the Sherburne County Jail ever since. Over prosecutors’ objections, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said Wednesday that Hassan will be released to the family home on Sept. 28 — but will be on 24-hour lockdown, GPS monitoring and other restrictions. He will only be allowed to leave for court-approved medical appointments and court appearances.

“If there is a violation of you being outside the home, smelling the flowers or looking at the birds, understand you will be taken into custody,” said Davis, who later added, “Even though I have a soft voice, I carry a very big stick and I mean what I say.”

Hassan is not to have contact with anyone involved in the case, and is allowed to use only the landline in the house — no cellular phones. He must give the court a list of people with whom he would like to speak.

Hassan’s parents, wife, and younger sister attended the hearing. Davis addressed Hassan’s father directly, making sure he understood the restrictions that would be in place in the family’s home. Among other things, the family’s computers will be monitored. The family agreed to the restrictions.

Hassan’s father declined to comment after the hearing.

According to court documents, Hassan left Minneapolis for Somalia in December 2007. Authorities say he provided support to al-Shabab, namely himself, until August 2008. He attended an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia and continued to follow orders from the terror group after he left the camp.

Al-Shabab was declared a terror organization in early 2008.

Two other men who left Minnesota in late 2007 — Salah Osman Ahmed and Abdifatah Yusuf Isse — have also pleaded guilty to terror charges and have been allowed to live at relatives’ homes while they await sentencing. They are not under electronic monitoring.

In arguing for Hassan’s release, federal defender Manny Atwal pointed to the other cases, and said Hassan has been a model citizen since pleading guilty. She also said he has been honest with, and helpful to, the court. She said he plans to care for his 2-year-old son while confined to the home so his wife can get a job and take English classes.

“The only place he wants to go is to the home of that family right there,” she said, pointing to Hassan’s family members.

Prosecutors had asked that Hassan remain in custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats said Hassan should not be released just because Ahmed and Isse are free. Kovats said the custody decisions for Isse and Ahmed were “wrongly decided” by the judge who previously oversaw the Somali investigation and should not be a precedent.

Under sentencing guidelines, Hassan faces a maximum of 38 years in prison when sentenced. A sentencing date has not been set.

Over the past three years, Minnesota has been the center of a federal investigation into travels and recruiting of people from the U.S. to train or fight with al-Shabab. The Minnesota investigation continues.

A total of 20 people in Minnesota have been charged in connection with the travelers and alleged terror financing.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (23)
  1. kevin says:

    “Hassan’s family agreed to the conditions. Defense attorney Manny Atwal says Hassan is happy to be going home.”

    The Minnesota Terror Alert has now moved to “Dont smell flowers or look at birds”.

    I am being finger probed at the airport…..but this POS pleads guilty of three federal terrorism charges and is sent home as long as he behaves? Well thank God…I mean Allah, that his family agreed to this! And thank Allah that he is happy to be allowed to come back to Minnesota! You know in the United States, the cournty he left and returned to Somalia to join terrorist groups. You know, the ones trying to kill Americans! Oh I do love the Somali Community! I am sure they will have a beg welcome home party for him in the near future! I know I feel so much safer now that his new home is Minnesota, and that his family will keep him on the straight and narrow! I mean his family kept him on the straight and narrow before….right? Living in Minnesota is like being on a comdey show, but there is no comedians, and everyone is just laughing at you….

    1. Tarek ibn Ziyad says:

      Death to the infidels. It is the will of the Prophet (PBUH).

      1. Dale Gribble says:

        Finally, someone who will stand up for White Christian values! My hat is off to you, sir!

        1. Jim says:

          Yeah, the white man in this country is so oppressed. LOL. Tell me, when did the Republican party turn into the party of whining victims?

          1. Dale Gribble says:

            Typical liberal traitor. Did you turn to face Mecca yet today, Abdul?

      2. Jim says:

        Internet tough guy right here, folks. Check it out!

      3. Jim says:

        “What a brilliant statement! Did you gradodate at Minnesotas fine public skool system ranked #38 in the nation? Might explain your intelligent statement! ” = IRONY

        1. MN Res says:

          Hmmm… MN GOP just succeeded at cutting their funding as well… Since the Christian gods seem to have forgotten about us, maybe Allah can help us!

      4. MN Res says:

        You sound just as radical as the people you despise. Same attitude, slightly different ideology. Both are equally dangerous to the civilized society.

  2. Iconoclast says:

    It’s sickening the way way embrace the very people that hate us..While Somali pirates slaughter Americans at sea,we send $245 miilion in aid to feed them.

    1. Jim says:

      What’s the Republican solution to the problems in Somalia? Nuclear weapons? Another war? Angry internet ranting?

      1. Reload says:

        The solution is who the **** cares!!! ITS NOT AMERICA!! WE ARE SICK OF MORONS LIKE YOU WASTING MONEY TO HELP THE WORLD! Let the world figure it ou! The United Nations should deal with this garbage! Why is it the American tax payers issues everytime there is a problem in the world? Let the WORLD take care of the world! WE ARE BROKE liberal morons….

        1. Jim says:

          Because when you ignore the world they blow up our stuff. Remember 9/11? How did ignoring Afghanistan work out for us?

          I thought Republicans hated the United Nations? Personally I don’t trust them to keep us safe. Our best hope is that countries like Somalia become better places to live, so they don’t want to kill us anymore. But go ahead and call people names and continue to act the tough guy on the internet, I guess, and leave these problems to the adults.

          1. frozenrunner says:

            Isn’t that blackmail? You have no backbone Jim! Typical liberal!! Waste of air!!

  3. Uncle Rico says:

    The UN licks. It’s like a fantasy football team- gives you confidence and looks great on paper,fails miserably and blows when put to the test.

    1. Dale Gribble says:

      The UN is in league with the radical Islamists and liberal attests to destroy our way of life. Obama, a known Muslim, takes his orders directly from the UN. He is the greatest threat to our Liberty and Freedom.

  4. look it up says:


    June 5 – U.S. presidential candidate Robert Kennedy murdered by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, in Los Angeles, which causes further terrorist attacks, as Arab terrorist groups demanded his release.
    Chronological List of Islamic Terrorist Attacks, 1968 – 2004

  5. Jake says:

    After 9/11, if I was prez, I would have dropped a nuke on Kabul within a week. Wouldn’t have lost a night’s sleep. Those who forgot what we had to do to ‘persuade’ Japan to surrender should experience the same fate. I could care LESS what the UN thinks. WE didn’t attack THEM. THEY attacked US.

    1. Dale Gribble says:

      Bush is only to be faulted in not using enough force to destroy the Muslim Menace. We should have used the full power of our nuclear arsenal to destroy all Muslim nations, thus ending the threat forever. If only Cheney had been given a chance. Now, instead of victotlry over Islam, we have a Muslim president!

  6. Akcl says:

    Why haven’t they sentenced him yet? He pleaded guilty in 2009? I don’t want for MN to have to pay for him for life, but what other option is there? Keep him behind bars for life!!! It shouldn’t be this hard. If we send back to his homeland, he’ll just get more training for his group I’m sure! We need the death penalty!! Don’t even call him American!! This judge should be ashamed! Let him go home? Only in MN would we reward a felon!!

  7. pat says:

    This Judge should be removed from this duties. How outrageous, maybe Timothy McVee wanted to go home too How can any reasonable adult think this man isn’t going to use a throw away phone, what an idiot this judge is..

  8. rj says:

    He should be dangling from a eight foot limb by a six foot rope.

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