Friday, December 02, 2011

San Diego Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to al Shabaab

SAN DIEGO—Nima Yusuf, 25, a resident of San Diego, pleaded guilty today in federal court in San Diego to conspiring to provide material support to al Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy announced. Yusuf entered her plea before Magistrate Judge Ruben B. Brooks, and the plea is subject to final acceptance by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz at or before sentencing.

As part of her plea, Yusuf admitted that she entered into an agreement with Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, Abdisalan Hussein Ali, Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, and Abdiweili Yassin Isse to provide material support to al Shabaab in the form of money and personnel to work under the direction and control of al Shabaab. Yusuf admitted that she entered this agreement despite knowing that the United States had designated al Shabaab as a foreign terrorist organization and that it was illegal to provide money or other material support to al Shabaab.

Hassan, Ali, Faarax and Isse are charged separately in a federal grand jury indictment in Minnesota for conspiring to provide material support to al Shabaab, among other offenses. The Minnesota indictment also charges Faarax with solicitation to commit a crime of violence, based on his alleged recruitment of three other men to travel to Somalia to fight for al Shabaab, one of whom is believed to have carried out a suicide bombing on al Shabaab’s behalf in or about October 2008.

As part of her guilty plea, Yusuf admitted that she knew Hassan, Ali, Faarax and Isse had left the United States to join and fight for al Shabaab in Somalia. She admitted that, between approximately February 2010 and November 2010, she sent approximately $1,450 to these men, who were then fighting in Somalia for al Shabaab. She also admitted that, when she was twice interviewed by agents from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security concerning her activities, she falsely denied sending any money to Somalia.

Al Shabaab is a terrorist organization based in Somalia, with objectives including the overthrow of the Transitional Federal Government, the elimination of African Union support for the TFG and the imposition of Shari’a law in Somalia. Al Shabaab has engaged in and used violence, intimidation and acts of terrorism, including suicide bombings, in Somalia and elsewhere to further its objectives.

Yusuf is next scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Feb. 10, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz in San Diego. She remains held without bail pending sentencing. She faces a potential maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This investigation was conducted by the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI.

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