Minnesota terror recruitment trial ends in guilty verdict for former mosque janitor
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 23, 2012
Here is the gist of the story from the Star Tribune:
A one-time janitor at a Minneapolis mosque was found guilty Thursday of conspiring to help a terrorist group recruit young Minnesota men for a holy war in their native Somalia.
A federal jury in Minneapolis deliberated about 8 1/2 hours before convicting Mahamud Said Omar, 46, in a case that provided the clearest picture to date of a worldwide investigation into the recruiting of at least 20 young men to fight in Somalia with Al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terror group.
Omar, of Minneapolis, rocked gently in his seat and studied the jurors dispassionately as the verdict was read.
Guilty on count one: conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Guilty on count two: providing material support to terrorists. Guilty on count three: conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely, the Islamist group Al-Shabab. Guilty on count four: providing material support to Al-Shabab.
Each of those charges carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Omar swallowed hard in advance of the last verdict, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison: guilty of conspiring to kill or maim people.
Read the whole story about how the US prosecutors think this was a huge breakthrough, however, I am left wondering if the kingpins are still free as birds. And, I want to know what involvement mosque leaders had with this recruitment? Are we to believe a janitor held meetings with jihad recruits in the mosque and no Imam knew?
Something humorous in this serious reporting!
The Star Tribune is back to using their go-to guy on anything relating to Somalis anywhere in America—Omar Jamal is back! I haven’t heard or seen much of the Somali mouthpiece, the Jesse Jackson of Minneapolis, in awhile. Last we heard he was off in NYC as the representative of Somalia at the UN. Longtime readers know Jamal was convicted of immigration fraud years ago in Tennessee and somehow got off the hook. I’ve wondered if we let him off the hook so that he could become a media megaphone in defense of Somalis gone wrong.
Omar Jamal became a “community activist” and could be counted on to comment on anything Somali anywhere. One of his early and best spins involved hopping out to Denver four years ago to speak for the Canadian family of a Somali man who killed himself with enough cyanide to kill hundreds in advance of the Democrat National Convention that year. Jamal told the media to move on, nothing to see here—just a nut!
Here he is yesterday speaking for the family of the man found guilty. BTW, the families of the “youths,” many of whom lost their lives in Somalia, were happy with the verdict.
Omar’s [Mahamud Said Omar] family members declined to comment, referring questions to community activist Omar Jamal. “They were not expecting this,” he said. “They are a little bit shocked.”
Jamal said the trial revealed many things that were not known to the community about Al-Shabab’s recruiting efforts in Minnesota, but he said many questions remain.
“The most important thing is, this is not the end of the game,” Jamal said. “The people responsible for ruining the lives of these kids are still out there … somewhere.”
On that, he and government prosecutors agreed.
“Some folks are still fugitives … and there are still ongoing investigations,” Jones said. “This isn’t the end.”
I hope not, but let’s see if we ever bring a kingpin to justice.
By the way, every day we bring more Somalis into the US who are just like Mahamud Said Omar—originally a homeless refugee in Rochester, MN most likely resettled there by Catholic Charities.
For new readers: Type ‘Minnesota terror trial’ into our search function for previous stories about the case. Also, see one of our most widely read posts every day at RRW–-Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?
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