MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has affirmed the conviction of a man who authorities say played a key role in funneling others from Minnesota to the terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia.

Forty-nine-year-old Mahamud Said Omar is serving a 20-year sentence on terrorism charges.

(credit: Pioneer Press)

Mahamud Said Omar (credit: Pioneer Press)

Prosecutors said during his 2012 trial that the former mosque janitor used young Somali men as “cannon fodder” and helped feed them into a pipeline of violence in their homeland. His attorneys argued he had limited mental capacity and held no power in al-Shabab.

They appealed, arguing among other things that investigators were suggestive when they showed witnesses photos of Omar as they sought to identify him. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, saying the investigators’ technique did not create a likelihood of misidentification.

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