Accused Somali-trained militant to be tried in NY


A man whom US prosecutors say received bomb-making training in Somalia from the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab has been brought to New York to face charges, the US Attorney’s office said.

Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, who was arrested in Nigeria and whose nationality was not disclosed, faces one count of conspiring to provide material support to Al Shabaab, which the US State Department has listed as a foreign terrorist organization.

The US government considers Al Shabaab to be al Qaeda’s proxy in the failed Horn of Africa state.

Al Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, wants to topple Somalia’s UN-backed government and impose its own strict version of sharia, Islamic law.

The heavily armed group controls much of the South and parts of the capital Mogadishu, and courts run by its clerics have ordered executions, floggings and amputations.

According to the indictment unsealed yesterday, Ahmed received Al Shabaab “jihad training” in the vicinity of Kismayo and Barawa, Somalia, in April 2009, and provided the group with $3000.

Ahmed’s lawyer, a public defender, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He was scheduled to appear before a US magistrate judge later yesterday.

Ahmed was arrested in Nigeria, where he had bomb-making instructions. He was transferred into US custody over the weekend.

He faces a maximum sentence of 45 years if convicted.

Pic: Al Shabaab