Terror Suspect Linked to Al-Shabaab Appears in US Court

Posted August 16th, 2011 at 5:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A man suspected of supporting a terrorist group in Somalia has appeared in a U.S. federal court after being extradited from the Netherlands.

Mohamud Said Omar made his initial appearance at the court in Minneapolis Monday on charges related to supporting al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based group that the United States considers a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida.

The 45-year-old, also known as Sharif Omar, was arrested in the Netherlands in November of 2009 and was extradited to the United States earlier this week. He is a Somali citizen and a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Omar was indicted in 2009 with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations, and with conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim and injure persons abroad.

Court documents allege that Omar, a former Minneapolis resident, gave money to young ethnic Somali men in the U.S. so they could travel to Somalia to train and fight for the terrorist group.

An investigation showed that the alleged activities took place between September 2007 and August 2009.

Al-Shabaab is an Islamist group fighting to topple Somalia's government. Recently, the group has made it difficult to distribute food aid to millions of victims of drought and famine across Somalia.