3 Somalis charged in NYC with fighting for al-Shabab - FOX 35 News Orlando

3 Somalis charged in NYC with fighting for al-Shabab

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) - Three men facing federal terrorism charges in New York City have strong ties to the same extremist Islamic group that's claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall, U.S. authorities say.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn describe the defendants -- Ali Yasin Ahmed, Madhi Hashi and Mohamed Yusuf -- as "dangerous and influential" members of al-Shabab who were part of an elite unit of suicide bombers. They were captured in Africa last year while traveling to Yemen to team up with the al-Qaida offshoot there.

The three had links to al-Qaida operatives in East Africa "who sought to carry out attacks against the United States and Western interests in that region," prosecutors wrote in a letter filed on Sept. 18, three days before rampaging gunmen killed dozens in an attack on the Nairobi mall.

The men are also accused of having "substantial knowledge regarding an al-Shabab research and development department that was developing chemical weapons for use."

Shortly after the FBI took custody of the men in November, they pleaded not guilty in a sealed proceeding in federal court in Brooklyn to providing material support to al-Shabab. The case has since been unsealed and Ahmed and Hashi were to appear Monday in court for a status conference.

All three men are from Somalia, authorities said. Ahmed, 27, and Yusuf, 29, have citizenship in Sweden and Hashi, 23, in Great Britain.

The charges allege that between 2008 and 2012, the men traveled to Somalia to receive weapons and explosives training from al-Shabab and were "deployed in combat operations" there.

"As alleged, these defendants are not aspiring terrorists - they are terrorists," George Venizelos, head of the FBI's New York office, said when the case was first announced. "They did more than receive terrorist training. They put that training to practice in terrorist operations."

Government papers filed this year cited conversations intercepted by authorities in Sweden as evidence against the men.

In 2008 Ahmed and Yusuf "discussed ... their intention to travel to Somalia for the purpose of joining al-Shabab and dying as martyrs," the papers say. In another conversation, Ahmed said he was an associate of a suicide bomber who killed two dozen people, including three government ministers, at a hotel gathering in Mogadishu in 2009.

Ahmed was interviewed by authorities in 2008 but denied he was an al-Shabab supporter, the papers allege. But by 2011, all three were in Somalia fighting for al-Shabab and enrolled in a "suicide bomber training program," the papers added.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Time Warner Cable service restored

    Time Warner Cable service restored

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:53 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:53:05 GMT
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. The problem occurred during routine maintenance of its Internet backbone, the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances, reported the Associated Press. Service was largely restored by 6 a.m., and updates continued to bring customers back online.
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. The problem occurred during routine maintenance of its Internet backbone, the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances, reported the Associated Press. Service was largely restored by 6 a.m., and updates continued to bring customers back online.
  • Mayor: NYC will learn from 2004 RNC 'mistakes'

    Mayor: NYC will learn from 2004 RNC 'mistakes'

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:35 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:35:46 GMT
    Brooklyn's final pitch to hold the 2016 Democratic national convention was centered on New York City's robust mass transit system -- and a pledge to learn "from the mistakes" from the last time the city hosted a presidential convention. The Republicans gathered in New York in 2004 to re-nominate President George W. Bush, choosing to meet in deep-blue Manhattan less than three years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
    Brooklyn's final pitch to hold the 2016 Democratic national convention was centered on New York City's robust mass transit system -- and a pledge to learn "from the mistakes" from the last time the city hosted a presidential convention. The Republicans gathered in New York in 2004 to re-nominate President George W. Bush, choosing to meet in deep-blue Manhattan less than three years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
  • Union says city too dangerous to host convention

    Union says city too dangerous to host convention

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:32 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:32:12 GMT
    One of New York City's police unions says it is opposed to the city's bid for Brooklyn to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying that crime is on the rise and criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio's public safety policies.The Sergeants Benevolent Association, which has 13,000 members, says the city was "lurching backwards to the bad old days of high crime."
    One of New York City's police unions says it is opposed to the city's bid for Brooklyn to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying that crime is on the rise and criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio's public safety policies.The Sergeants Benevolent Association, which has 13,000 members, says the city was "lurching backwards to the bad old days of high crime."
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices