ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — It’s being called the first international terrorism case prosecuted here since 9-11 . A local man pleads guilty to sending money to a terrorist organization in Somalia .
The suspect — 31 year old Mohamud Abdi Yusuf — pleading guilty in federal court here to providing material support for terrorists. The feds say Yusuf used coded language to communicate with members of the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization.
That group’s goal is the the overthrow of the Transitional Federal Government and imposing Shari’a law in Somalia. The group has used violence, intimidation and acts of terrorism in Somalia, according to the feds.
“At least 20 American citizens from other parts of the U.S. have already traveled to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, which is responsible for assassinating Somali peace activists, international aid workers, numerous civil society figures, and journalists,” said Special Agent in Charge Dennis L. Baker, “Senior leaders of Al-Shabaab are affiliated with al-Qaida.”
Yusif confessed to soliciting money from inside and outside the St. Louis region and coordinating money transfers to al-Shabaab.
Duane Mohamed Diriye who is a resident of Kenya, and Abdi Mahdi Hussein who worked for a money remitting business in Minneapolis were also indicted along with Yusuf on October 21, 2010. Diriye remains at large; Hussein has appeared in court and his case is still pending.
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. Each count carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey set Yusuf’s case for sentencing on January