Defense: Case Against Somali Terror Suspect Faulty

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for a Minnesota man accused of helping supply fighters to a terror group in Somalia says the government’s case is built on the testimony of corrupt witnesses.

Andrew Birrell told a Minneapolis jury during closing arguments Wednesday that the FBI accepted lies about his client, Mahamud Said Omar, because they were under pressure to find out why men were being recruited by al-Shabab.

Birrell said the three travelers who made plea deals and testified against Omar can’t be trusted.

The prosecutor argued earlier Wednesday that Omar used the young men as “cannon fodder” for al-Shabab.

Omar’s trial is the first in the government’s long-running investigation of recruiting by al-Shabab, a group at the center of much of the violence in Somalia.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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