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Defendant In Minn. Somali Case Pleads Not Guilty

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge has ordered a Somali man jailed until his trial on charges he helped finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab.

Mahamud Said Omar pleaded not guilty Thursday to five terror-related counts.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ordered that Omar remain jailed, saying it was necessary to ensure he doesn’t flee. He did not set a trial date.

The defense argued for releasing Omar to the custody of his brother, who promised to guarantee that Omar would abide by any conditions of release and get psychiatric treatment.

Omar was arrested in the Netherlands in 2009 and extradited to the U.S. in August. He is charged in the U.S. government’s investigation into the recruitment of at least 21 men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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