Women Found Guilty On All Counts In Terror Funding Case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two Minnesota women who claimed they were helping the poor in Somalia were convicted Thursday of conspiring to funnel money to a terrorist group as part of what prosecutors called a “deadly pipeline” sending funds and fighters to al-Shabab.

After the verdicts, one of the women, Amina Farah Ali, told the judge through an interpreter that she was happy because she was “going to heaven no matter what,” and condemned those in authority, saying: “You will go to hell.” She was ordered into custody pending her sentencing.

Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, were each charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Ali also faced 12 counts of providing such support, for allegedly sending more than $8,600 to al-Shabab from September 2008 through July 2009, while Hassan faced two counts of lying to the FBI.

Both were found guilty on all counts. The terrorism-related counts each carry up to 15 years in prison, while lying to the FBI carries up to eight years. No sentencing date was set, and prosecutors said it was too early to predict what sentence they’d recommend.

The women, both U.S. citizens of Somali descent, were among 20 people charged in Minnesota’s long-running federal investigations into recruiting and financing for al-Shabab, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaida. Investigators believe at least 21 men left Minnesota — home to the country’s largest Somali community — to join al-Shabab.

Though others have pleaded guilty to related charges, the women were the first to go to trial.

The verdicts will likely lead to other guilty pleas, said Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali mission to the United Nations in New York. He also said it would be difficult for law enforcement agencies to rebuild the trust they had worked to establish with the Somali community.

Prosecutors had emphasized that the case was not about a community or a religion, but two women who deliberately broke the law.

“The verdict reaffirms the principle that everyone who lives within our borders has to obey our laws,” Paulsen said. He added that prosecutors would keep trying to improve relationships with the Somali community.

Prosecutors said the two women went door-to-door in the name of charity and held religious teleconferences to solicit donations, which they then routed to the fighters. The defendants said they believed the men were protecting their homeland from the Ethiopian army, which many saw as invaders.

The government’s key evidence included hundreds of hours of recorded phone calls, obtained during a 10-month wiretap on Ali’s home and cell phone. Prosecutors say those calls, which included talk of fighting in Somalia and sending money to fighters under false pretenses, showed the women knew they were doing something illegal.

Defense attorneys painted the women as humanitarians giving money to orphans and poor people, as well as a group they felt was working to push foreign troops out of Somalia.

Ali, who had been found in contempt of court when she refused to stand for religious reasons at the start of the trial, told Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis after the verdicts that she knows justice in God.

Her lawyer, Dan Scott, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Ali’s husband declined to comment.

Hassan was taken into custody but will be placed into a halfway house when possible. She will be on lockdown and monitored by GPS. She expressed concern in court about whether she would have to remove her head covering. Davis said she would be allowed to wear it.

Hassan’s attorney, Tom Kelly, said he would wait until the sentencing before deciding whether to appeal.

“She seems to be at peace,” he said of his client. “She’s a deeply religious woman and puts her trust in Allah. I think there’s a lesson to be learned there.”

As part of its case, the government had to prove the women knew al-Shabab had been declared a foreign terrorist organization, or that they knew it was engaged in terrorist activity or terrorism.

During his closing argument, Scott said Ali began supporting al-Shabab before the U.S. government declared it a terrorist group in February 2008. He said the government offered no evidence that showed Ali knew al-Shabab had received the designation.

Prosecutor Steven Ward contended that Ali and Hassan were in contact with key al-Shabab leaders and getting frequent updates on the fighting. He said their conversations showed they knew al-Shabab was a terror group, sometimes celebrating casualties.

In one of those calls, Ali told others to “forget about the other charities” and focus on “the jihad.” In another, she said, “Let the civilians die.”

The case was closely watched by local Somalis. Dozens of supporters — mostly women — attended court each day. Several women in the courtroom sobbed after the two were taken into custody.

“I’m real sad,” Fartun Abdiloor of Minneapolis said after the verdict. “It’s so emotional, so intense. This decision is the opposite of what we expected.”

Others in the Somali community were pleased.

“Because of the delay in the justice system there was a sense in the community that these folks are untouchable,” said Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew left Minneapolis as a teenager to join al-Shabab and was later killed in Somalia. “I’m very happy that justice is starting to deliver.”

Bihi did not attend the trial but said the verdicts send a message to others that supporting the “brutal” acts of al-Shabab is a serious crime and “the government means business.”

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

  • Maddog

    I can’t believe anyone would want to defend these 2 terroist. Humanitarians? I guess that would also make Hitler a humaitarian in that lawyers eyes.

    • Mr. Knowitall

      Lawers are Lawers They work for the money, A case like this brings them new clients. If they win. If they lose .. they still get paid. IMO

      • A Lawyer

        What??? From what I see, PEOPLE are the instigators and the opportunists. Lawyers have the job of articulating their position. So, I hope some money grubbing fool never slips on your sidewalk, gets bit by your dog, “sets it up” to be hit by your car, or a neighbor decides that 3 inches of your lawn is in their plat. It ain’t all Hollywood.

        • just sayin

          No, thats just what you get with liberal money hungry lawyers.

          • Jim

            @ just stupid. Are there any conservative money hungry lawyers?

          • Duh

            No, thats just what you get with liberal money hungry sue happy people who hire the lawyer, Just blabbin’

      • Little Tin God

        Uhh, what’s a “lawer”?

    • Kevin

      Whats even harder to believe is that our we are paying for their lawyers….your tax dollars at work…

      • Isaac Carmichael

        Direct your complaints to the Founding Fathers, please.

        • Real Talk

          Which one of the founding fathers advocated to use public tax dollars to pay for a legal defense of the accused?

          The origins of this practice came about WAY after the founding fathers buddy.

    • markH

      Stop the deceptive practice of applying euphemisms to downplay the role of sectarianism in these matters. These people are religious fundamentalist zealots who simply USE terrorism and indiscriminate violence to achieve their ends. Behind most actions there is an underlying motivation-in these cases it is a religious ideology that seeks destruction of others and maintains a vehement intolerance toward the ideas and practices of other people. Peace.

    • Get educated

      Everyone has right to legal representation. This is so everyone is getting a fair trial. Stop babbling about how lawyers are bad people.

    • @actionjackZero

      What folks need to know about actionjackhero is this > his previous monikers were 1) Les Johnson 2)The Architect 3) Iconoclast..If you’ve visited the WCCO website for very long you’ll recognize him as a know-it-all blowhard windbag who is chronically unemployed..Anyone who has seen an episode of Seinfeld will liken him to the character George Costanza..He’s a complete & total loser of the most common variety..Keeping that in mind,feel free to read his pointless ramblings & dismiss them as the disjointed incoherent BS that they are..He’s just a sweatpants wearing Mullet sporting Moron..

    • Ticked Off MN'an

      I agree. How dare anyone come into this country under the guise of “finding a better life” when all they really want to do is destroy us. Ship ’em out if the gov’t can. And as for the one woman’s comment about all of “us” going to h*ll – I think not. Enjoy your roasting.

  • Richard Head

    Hold the trial in Texas.

  • Elmo

    Funny she can vote. Yet I’m retried Navy Vet and it’s against the law for me to vote, because I’m on paper an a felon.
    Glad somebody can vote, wish I could.

    • B in MPLS

      If you’re “on paper” as a felon, then you’re felon. You don’t get put “on paper” as a felon on accident, there Elmo. You have to do something VERY illegal first.

    • Elmo the muttman, yep

      Elmo – maybe ya cannot vote because you are one stupid idiot. That thought ever cross your (lack of) mind?
      Just your fellow idiot “yep” made a comment about a “vote”
      Perfect …. dummy 1 and dummy 2. Neither can read nor has a thing to say but ….go eat some doggy doo there you mutts.

  • Time frame for it ???

    The rope is still blowing in the wind and the tree looks lonely
    How soon will the public hanging be ???????
    I have taken the balance of the day off but I need to get a coat soon if there is a delay

    • cantbelievethesepeople

      ship em back to where they came from.

      • Molly

        I AGREE!!! ship’m all back…every last one of’m!!

  • fred

    if found guilty I would predict a few rounds of violence……thats how they roll

  • B in MPLS

    You know, people, if you don’t like Somalians for one reason or another, you could at least have the tact to keep your disparaging comments to yourself. Everyone knows there are issues in that community, but they aren’t going to be solved through hate or indifference.

    That said, if any person, Somalian or otherwise, is truly involved in terroristic activities, that person should be brought to justice according to our laws.

    • jackactionhero

      Yeah, I hear they’re hot on the trail of the Johannsons and Pedersons, known violent Norwegian gangs seeking to send money to the Norwegian Terrorist organizations seeking to destroy America….

      Somalians have terrorism in their blood. Allahu Ackbar and insh’allah, folks…

      • B in MPLS

        Let’s thing about this for a minute. I believe there was just a violent terrorist attack somewhere in Europe. Oh, wait. YEAH. That’s right. IN NORWAY!

        • jackactionhero


          Not exactly. He was not a terrorist. Minor detail there that blows your story, sir.

          One guy, no ties to terrorists or terrorism. No, I think you’re pretty much 100% wrong.

          One guy flipping out and blowing a dozen people away does not an international terrorist make, sir.

          You’re confused.

          • Vincent V.

            WHY is he confused?? Then what, EXACTLY, defines a terrorist?? According to the dictionary, a terrorist is defined as the following:
            World English Dictionary
            terrorist (ˈtɛrərɪst)
            a. a person who employs terror or terrorism, esp as a political weapon

            Sorry, but that is EXACTLY what the man in Norway did. As did Timothy McVeigh. NO WHERE does it say that a terrorist must be a Muslim and that terrorism happens only to Christian Americans.

        • Jason

          Yeah jackwagin, that’s what 1 in the last 200 years, compared to how many by the somali people? Go back to your crack pipe.

      • Tammy Belka

        Norwegians and Finns used to blow up the homes of Mine Foremen 100 years ago, during the birth of the Union movement on the Iron Range. Look it up. Interesting stuff…. of course, the mines would go in and burn down the Union Halls too. great history if you’re interested….

        • winoceros

          Fascism and intimidation in the unions…fascism and intimidation in Dar al Harb and Dar al Islam.

          This is supposed to exonerate the devout and proactive defenders of Islam somehow?

    • Angelea

      I don’t hear the Somalian community saying these women are innocent, protesting, or even trying to help them, whether it’s because they are women (so they are dispensable) or they truly are guilty and the community is distancing themselves so they can keep funding terrorists. It speaks volumes that Muslims don’t condemn suicide bombings, etc. If they can’t assimilate in society, they need to return to their homeland. I, for one, do not intend to stand by while they take away my freedom and rights.

      • Tom K

        It might be helpful if we do as Australia has done. Learn the language, use it, and learn the customs and abide by them……………OR LEAVE!

    • The Rodentman

      No, I won’t keep my comments to myself. The Somali don’t. Why do we let them come here, give them welfare, and then we get told that WE have to show diversity? Where’s THEIR show of diversity, some effort at acclimation if not assimilation? They want, adn get their own schools, cloths, way of life, yet live off the taxpayers of MN.

      If they can’t support themselves and speak English, send them back where they came from and don’t let any more into the US and don’t give them sitizenship.

      • Go Away Vikings

        How about spelling lessons??

  • M

    Ship these free loaders back….welfare suckers!!! Get our own US people back to work and off the streets. These people ship the money the system gives them to have us attacked!!!

    They should have NO rights, they are not citizens!!!!

    • jackactionhero

      You didn’t read the article did you?

      They ARE citizens of the U.S. They’re your neighbors. Maybe they’re ticked you didn’t bring over a welcome basket…

      • M

        Not my neighbor…… The only thing they should get is a basket of TP and directions on how to use a toilet!!!

        Take away their citizenship & ship them back.

      • jus sayin

        Not natural US citizens….

        An article about 5 back about them stated that.

        • jackactionhero

          They are U.S. Citizens. Period. That isn’t up for debate, goofball.

          • me

            Then shoot them for TREASON. Where do I sign up for the firing squad

            • jackactionhero

              Get in line. I’ve been waiting and waiting!

    • buggy

      M — agree!!! If they are US Citizens then why are the holding protest signs (news last night) saying they were only helping “their” country — can’t be both ways!!!

  • red

    Good ONE!

    • I

      I luv all these wimmin. beautiful and soooooo sexy

  • jackactionhero

    Ok, so the title of the article says a verdict was reached. The first line of the article says a verdict has been reached.

    Yet, at no time in the article is the verdict mentioned.

    Hard-hitting journalistic excellence, CCO!

    • Otto

      Once the jury reaches the verdict, they inform the judge and legal counsel. The judge will reconvene the court once everyone has been given time to get back to the courtroom. That is when the actual verdict is read. You would know that if you ever did your civic duty by being on jury duty.
      That’s do facts, jack

      • jackactionhero

        So the article is really telling us nothing?

        I’ve never been a juror, Otto. The one time I was selected, I was 18 or 19 and was too hungover to go, so I didn’t.

        • Otto

          It said that the jury had reached a verdict. It is very common for news outlets to make that annoucement on high profile cases.

          And I doubt that you skipped jury duty because you were hungover. There are fines and possible jail time for those who do. And they will come and find you for something like that

          • jackactionhero

            Well, they didn’t.

            They called and asked why I wasn’t there, and I told them I didn’t have a car or a ride, neither of which were true.

            I had been at a party until 3 or 4 in the morning and still couldn’t see straight.

            This was also back in about 1993.

            • Otto

              So which county were you summoned for? I’m sure you were called for at least a minimum of 2 weeks. What did you do the rest of the time you were on duty? Did you report?

              • @JackactionZero

                What you have to understand about JackactionZero is he has an answer for everything, problem is he has never been correct he is a walking mutant whose death would bring joy to his family, he says he has a begree in economics depending on the story of course yet he reeks of the unemployed.

                • Otto

                  Oh I know his type very well. It’s just fun to let that type shoot themselves in the foot every now and then. You can tell when you got ’em cuz they shut their yap.

    • Sue

      I had the same reaction as you did to this non story! Why bother to post that they have reached a verdict and then not report what the verdict is? It’s a “tease” to get us to watch their newscast or leave their website open for the updated story once the jury comes back and delivers the verdict in open court. We’re used to seeing the on-air reporters tease what’s “coming up next on ‘CCO” but it really is lame to see it done in print. Seems like incomplete reporting when you read a story like this one that is still playing out. Kudos to the headline writer, though — it certainly did grab my attention!

    • Ring

      The alert I received states the women were found guilty on all counts~

    • winoceros

      This article is being continually updated. Watch for words to go down the rabbit hole and the PC police to patch it up. They’ve already added the following after the bit about worry about her niqab:
      “Davis said arrangements were made to allow her to keep her head covering on.”

      Great. Terrorist funding and she gets special clothing treatments. Honey, no one is going to be looking at your at the halfway house. Prison will let you have a little triangle, maybe.

  • M

    Thiey are supporting terrorism, and they can vote??? The US needs to stop letting people over on a free ride. I am all for people coming over to the US who want to work hard and contribute.

    • Tammy Belka

      if they’re convicted they become felons and thereby lose their voting privileges, so you don’t have to worry about that

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/?p=173079 Verdict Reached In Minn. Terror Funding Case « CBS Minnesota

    […] [WCCO] Share this No comments // […]

  • Annie

    So, what’s the verdict?

  • KM

    OK…am I missing something here?? The headline states a verdict is reached, but nowhere in the article does is say what the verdict is.

    The final paragraph states only: If convicted on all counts, Hassan faces a maximum of 39 years and Ali, who is accused of actually sending the money, faces 180 years

  • dilema

    If they lock them up in Shakopee the gals there will demand transfers on humanitarian grounds. Like having the right to breath unpolluted air
    “hang ’em from the highest tree …..woman don’t you wait for me”

  • darn darn darn it all

    If they lock them up in Shakopee the gals there will demand transfers on humanitarian grounds. Like having the right to breath unpolluted air
    “hang ’em from the highest tree …..woman don’t you wait for me”

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/10/20/terror-funding-verdict-guilty-on-all-counts/ Terror Funding Verdict: Guilty On All Counts « CBS Minnesota

    […] Click here for the full story. Share this No comments // […]

  • natural born citizen and not proud of US behavior

    So far, I havent read one comment that might question the innocence of these women. My gosh, it is entirely feasible and believable they were just sending money to their country to help the poor. There have been many articles written in regard to the dire situation theircountry is experiencing. It is also possible fellow countymen are keeping their distance for fear of being accused or arrested.if they defend their actions.. Until they are found guilty we should resserve our negative comments!

    • jackactionhero

      Did you read the evidence?

      She said (and I quote) “The civilians can die.”

      They’re guilty, and they’ve been found guilty. Now we’ll witness America’s lack of a stomach for dealing with enemies of the human race….

  • GUILTY !!!!!! duh

    OK – guilty. So let’s hang the beetches today.
    Note how much the look like Gadhafi ????? Yjeu related or do all terrorists look alike ?????
    Death – terrorists deserve NOTHING MORE

  • Kent

    There could be repercussions.

    • me

      Yep – rioting Somalians … right in the middle of hunting seaon – which means that all the rednecks are stocked up on ammo ….

      What’s the bag limit on Somalis ?

      Oh wait – there IS NO bag limit on vermin…

  • Josie

    Is their headgear allowed in jail? It shouldn’t be, they could conceal something under all that. They should request to return to Somalia and never come back. Works for me!

    • jackactionhero

      How would they get there?

      They can wade off the East Coast into the Atlantic and keep going for all I care, but our money better not finance a dime of the trip.

  • ndmama59

    They should have been charged with treason. Aiding and abetting organizations that want to destroy our country is treason. And, where did all these donations come from? If you are on welfare and you can afford to donate $500, then maybe your welfare check is too big.

  • Kevin

    Two down……200,000 to go……keeping MN Somali free……….

  • tterts

    Firing Squad

  • Say it and move on

    Why do you need a dozen posts on here? Can’t you speak your peace and move on?

    • jackactionhero

      Why do you feel the need to comment on something unrelated to the article?

      Make your comment and move on.

      • STFU, dingbat

        We have a suggestion for you – STFU and never your mind how often any of us cares to bash these two worthless cesspools of humanity. Matter of fact, since you ain’t part of the righteous bashing, then you’re part of the problem. So simply shut your worthless hole, ya hypocrite b@st@rd.

  • Jason

    Now that they have been convicted, they will appeal it, let’s hope the convictions are upheld, then they will be eligible to be deported, at which time they should be put on a watch list to be shot on sight if they attempt to reenter the U.S.

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