Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Terrorism: Mohamud Abdi Yusuf sentenced for providing material support to Somalia-based al Shabaab.

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS—Mohamud Abdi Yusuf, 31, was sentenced to 140 months in prison on charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

According to court documents, from February 2008 through at least July 2009, Yusuf conspired with others to provide money to al Shabaab, which was designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization in February 2008. Yusuf transferred money to al Shabaab under fictitious names and telephone numbers utilizing money remitting businesses operating in the United States.

Al Shabaab is a terrorist organization based in Somalia whose objective is the overthrow of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), eliminating the African Union support for TFG, and the imposing Shari’a law in Somalia. Al Shabaab has engaged in and used violence, intimidation, and acts of terrorism in Somalia and elsewhere to further its objectives.

Yusuf admitted with his plea in November to soliciting money from inside and outside the Eastern District of Missouri and coordinating the transfer of the money to al Shabaab. Members of the conspiracy frequently communicated in coded language as they planned the means by which they transferred money to al Shabaab members and affiliates in Somalia.

“This is the first international terrorism case prosecuted in Eastern Missouri since 9/11 and it represents the FBI’s number one priority in protecting this country against terrorism,” said Special Agent in Charge Dean C. Bryant of the FBI St. Louis Division. “Today’s sentence underscores our concern about people in the United States actively supporting al Shabaab, especially when its leaders publicly pledged their allegiance to al Qaeda just this past February.”

Yusuf entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and three counts of providing material support to a designated terrorist organization last November and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey.

Duane Mohamed Diriye, who is a resident of Kenya, was also indicted along with Yusuf on October 21, 2010 and remains at large.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Drake and Howard Marcus are handling the case in conjunction with the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.