Witness: Minn. Terror Defendant Not At Meetings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man who joined the terror group al-Shabab in Somalia says he never saw a man accused of supporting recruits take part in planning meetings at a Minneapolis mosque.

Kamal Said Hassan testified Wednesday in the federal trial of Mahamud Said Omar in Minneapolis.

Omar is charged with five terror counts stemming from an investigation into young Somali men leaving Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab’s fight against the U.N.-backed government in Somalia.

Hassan testified that he knew Omar only from his work as a janitor at the mosque.

But Hassan also testified that Omar later told him by phone that he was at an al-Shabab safe house in Somalia. He said he was surprised to learn Omar was there.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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