MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A U.S. court hearing for a Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab came to an abrupt end Friday when he collapsed in court and had to be taken to the hospital by paramedics.

It was not immediately clear why Mohamud Said Omar, 45, collapsed. He regained consciousness, but Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis suspended proceedings so Omar could get medical care.

“For a variety of reasons I am personally gravely concerned for him,” his attorney, Matt Forsgren, said after the hearing. He added his client has had similar episodes while imprisoned in the Netherlands, though he declined to elaborate.

Omar, whose first name is spelled Mahamud in court documents, is charged as part of 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. He’s been indicted on five counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

He’s been in custody in the Netherlands since 2009 and was recently extradited to Minnesota. He was in court Friday for a detention hearing.

Court documents filed by prosecutors suggest Omar helped with recruiting and was involved with travelers who left in 2007 and 2008. They allege he gave money to some of the men who left for Somalia in 2007, that he provided funding for assault rifles and an al-Shabab safehouse while in Somalia in 2008 and that he hosted a gathering for some of travelers in Minnesota, days before they left.

His family has said he’s innocent and doesn’t have the mental or intellectual capacity to be a terrorist. They’ve described him as timid and someone who could be easily influenced.

“This guy, he’s sick, sick, sick, and he needs a lot of help,” his brother, Mohamed Osman, said Friday.

Omar Jamal, a longtime advocate for Somalis in Minnesota and the first secretary for the Somali mission to the United Nations, also believes Omar is innocent.

“I know him, and I know he is not what the government is saying. … He’s not as big a fish as what the government would like to believe,” Jamal said.

“He is not a terrorist,” he said.

Jamal said he trusts in the justice system, and he has urged members of Somali community to work with lawyers to prove Omar’s innocence.

Before Omar’s collapse Friday, attorneys were discussing the issue of an interpreter. The defense says Omar doesn’t understand the court’s official Somali interpreter because Omar speaks Maay Maay, a different dialect. Forsgren is asking the court for permission to use another interpreter who speaks that dialect.

That issue, and the issue of whether Omar will remain in custody as the case proceeds, will be taken up at a later date.

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

Comments (17)
  1. Albert says:

    OBVIOUSLY this is part of their training when the lib-ruls bring them in with the free first class plane tickets and the more-generous-than-citizens benefits. When in court, hit the floor.

    1. somali american says:

      Obviously you know little about the Somali people living in the Twin cities, so it would be appropriate if you just shut the hell up before judging people that you have no clue.

      1. Walt says:

        I know about the Somali people in the Twin Cities. They are rude, think they are entitled to everything they want. Live off siciety like leaches, getting free schooling, free housing, food stamps, a free taxi cab, the government sets them up with businesses, and all they contribute are young gangs, They are anti social, in the community out side of their own, many into illegal ventures. prostitution, even drugs. I know a lot about the Somali people because I live among them.

      2. Kevin says:

        Oh I have a clue…I have worked with them for years…..and being a “good” muslim you should not use the word “hell”….I have a clue and Somalians suck…..

      3. Plane leaves soon says:

        Take the first plane back We don’t want you here. Take that clue

      4. Ali says:

        Somali people are lazy and worthless. They have 90% unemployment even after being here for years. They will rip off and lie and do anything to rip off the system. They think ripping off services is good. They have no morals. They are sub-humans.

  2. MN CLOWN says:

    internet thugs fighting crime on line you clown are funny i bet when you are among somalian you won’t say these things to them, and stop it if you did say these things to them you be on the news the headline would said men beaten up by mob.

    1. Mr D says:

      It’s more like……….Man beaten up by Somali gang. That’s how they roll.

    2. Miguel Hugo says:

      Thank you for the giant run-on sentence. Maybe when you can write with some type of grammatical structure, someone will take you seriously. The issue is that the accused is trying to escape conviction; his attempt is the oldest trick in the book. This is nothing new, because since the dawn of time people have tried to escape jail sentences. But for some reason, everyone is judging all Somalis by the actions of one man. Somalis’ are people too. Most of the Somalis’ here in America are 1st and 2nd generation and it takes time to blend the cultures. We need to learn to live together.

    3. Sue says:

      Hows that fantasy working for you?

  3. Mr. D - doosh breath says:

    Cry us a berr, Mr. Doosh.

    1. Mr D says:

      Come on you can do better than that.

  4. that's funny says:

    We need to learn to live together?……it rubs the lotion on it’s skin, or else it get’s the hose again!

  5. rj says:

    Wave some government money in front of his mug. That will wake him up.

  6. Kevin says:

    Crying like a little school girl….such a wussy….as they all are…

  7. oNiSaC says:

    The thing is the Somalian people I know are not good nieghbors or citizens. They hate Americans and are only here for the hand-outs. In Somalia there are no free hand-outs. That is why Somalians and Americans only get along in the minds of polititions. The legislators have no clue about Somalians, their ideology, their Sharia Law, or there motivation for their world jihad.

    I would imagine the courts don’t know much about Somalians either. But try living amoung them for a year or so. Then you will get the picture. Have you ever noticed that no Muslim is ever wrong, never the agressor, never anything but a loving a kind hearted man.? Just ask one of them they’ll tell you.

    The thing is Somalians are just like must Muslims, in their own minds they think they are the only perfect people in the entire world. But in reality they are the worst people in the world and they think they are better than everyone else because the Koran, Sharia Law, and Hadith tell them they are perfect.

    The only way they will ever get along with Minneasotans is when the Minnesotans are Muslim or dead. They are not and never will be good neighbors. Go ahead and live next to them you’ll soon understand and be removed from ignorants.

    1. Mr D says:

      Truth be told. To bad it will soon be taken down.

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