THREE California residents were indicted on charges of providing funding and other aid for the Shabab, a Somali-based Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda, US authorities said today.
The Justice Department said an indictment named San Diego residents Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud and Issa Doreh.
They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and related offences, said the US attorney for the southern district of California, Laura Duffy.
According to the indictment handed up on October 22, the three conspired to provide money to Shabab, a group designated by Washington as a foreign terrorist organisation and which is accused of using assassinations, improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings and other tactics of intimidation and violence to undermine Somalia’s transitional government.
The indictment also said the three were working with Moalim Aden Hashi Ayro, said to be al-Qaeda’s military leader in Somalia, who was killed by a US air strike in May 2008.
Mr Ayro requested money from Mr Moalin, who then co-ordinated the fundraising efforts and money transfers with Mr Mohamud and Mr Doreh, according to a Justice Department statment.
The indictment alleges that after Mr Ayro’s death, the conspirators continued to transfer money from San Diego to Somalia “to fund terrorist activities”.
Officials said FBI agents arrested Mr Moalin on Sunday at San Diego International Airport, shortly before he was scheduled to board a flight. The next day the other two suspects were arrest in in San Diego.
Today, a federal magistrate ordered Mr Moalin held without bail pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday. Mr Mohamud and Mr Doreh are expected to appear for arraignment tomorrow
The Shabab, an Islamist extremist group that controls most of central and western Somalia, has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Uganda’s capital on July 11 that killed 76 people gathered to watch the World Cup final.