MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five years ago this month we first reported that dozens of young men were leaving Minnesota, to join a terror network in Somalia.

The trial for the Minnesota man accused of helping finance their trip starts on Monday.

Mahamud Said Omar is charged with five terror-related counts in the Government’s long investigation. Officials claim Omar is connected to the disappearance of at least 21 men. They first were reported missing in September of 2007.

Omar’s attorneys say he is innocent. His brothers say the 46-year-old is sick, and therefore, couldn’t be a terrorist or handle money to help transport people or weapons.

So far, 18 men have been charged in the case, but Omar is the first to go to trial. Authorities hope this case could give the public its deepest look yet into how people were recruited into the terrorist organization.


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