Somali Language At Issue In Terror Suspect Case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab say they want their own interpreter.

The defense says 45-year-old Mahamud Said Omar is proficient in a Somali dialect known as Af-Maay, spoken in southern Somalia.

The primary language in Somalia is Af-Mahaa.

While Omar speaks a little Af-Mahaa and a little English, attorney Matt Forsgren says Omar doesn’t know enough of either for a case this serious.

Omar is charged in the recruitment of at least 21 men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia.

The government opposes the request for an Af-Maay interpreter. Prosecutors played audio recordings that they say show Omar can speak Af-Mahaa and is “perfectly fluent” in that dialect.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Guy

    This is why this state needs an “English is the Official Language” ammendment.

    That way we don’t need to provide translators for a billion dialects that only 1 or 2 people ever speak.

    Learn English or go back where you came from.

    • cassie

      I totally agree. I mean, even if I were to learn a few more languages, there would still be so many others around that there is so much confusion. We need just one, common language and I think it should be english. Sorry if anyone disagrees. But he is right, if you dont like it, go back.

      • Da Pope

        If we must have one common language, I vote for Latin.

  • Kevin

    Lions and Tigers and Bears…..Oh My…….

  • Dudetou

    Me a speak a no english. Where do I go to get my welfare check and my free housing, food stamps and my new car. I bet if they had a water board treatment he would speak english.

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