Saturday, April 20, 2024

Kenyan terror suspect jailed in US

Al ShabaabA court in the United States has jailed a Kenyan for 15 years for conspiring to provide money and recruits to three terrorist organisations.

According to a statement by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Mohamed Hussain Said aged 27, pleaded guilty to the charge.

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Mr Said admitted that he conspired to support the Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and AQI/al-Nusrah Front terror group based in Syria.

The terror suspect is said to have received a series of wire transfers amounting to Sh1.2 million ($11,600) from a co-conspirator Gufran Ahmed Mohammed.

He is said to have used the money to support Al-Shabaab and also recruited “experienced” fighters from the Somali-based terrorists for the AQI/al-Nusrah Front to fight in the conflict in Syria.

Mr Said admitted that he also tried to recruit other individuals to carry out attacks within the US.

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In his Friday verdict, Miami based District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that the three groups the accused supported had intentions to attack the US and its overseas interests.


Defence lawyer Silvia Pinera-Vazquez asked the court to consider handing Mr Said a lesser eight-year sentence arguing that he never engaged in any military training and did not target the US or plot against Americans.

“There is no evidence that Mr Said’s actions were specifically intended to target the United States for attack,” she stated in her submission.

Assistant US Attorney Brian Frazier asked Judge Ungaro to sentence Mr Said and Mr Mohammed, his co-accused, the maximum 15 years jail term.

According to Mr Frazier, Mr Said had wished to assassinate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit in Kenya in 2009.

Mrs Clinton visited the country between August 5 and 8, 2009 to attend Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Nairobi.

“Allah knows best why nothing happened,” he was quoted as saying in the alleged conversation between him and an FBI undercover agent.

However, there is no evidence in the documents that he took any steps to execute his alleged intention to assassinate Mrs Clinton.

Mr Said and Mr Mohammed were arrested in 2013 in Saudi Arabia in a case that evolved from FBI monitoring of Internet chat rooms frequented by terrorists.

FBI agents posed as recruiters and fundraisers for terrorist groups.

Court documents filed earlier by US prosecutors state that Mr Said had sought funds from the undercover FBI agent “to pay the rent for fighters who were in Kenya on the command of the slain Al-Shabaab leader Godane alias Abu Zubeir.”

The prosecutor alleged that many of the accused’s terror plots were captured in FBI undercover recordings and conversations between him and an FBI “online covert employee,”

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