San Diego men accused of terror funding held without bail - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego men accused of terror funding held without bail

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Members of the San Diego Somali community line up at federal court Friday to support the three accused men Members of the San Diego Somali community line up at federal court Friday to support the three accused men

SAN DIEGO (CNS/News 8) - Three San Diego men accused of aiding a Somalia-based terrorist organization will remain in federal custody for several more days after their attorneys asked for more time today to prepare their requests for bail.

Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 33, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 38, and Issa Doreh, 54, are currently held without bail, each in solitary confinement in a special unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown.

The men are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Moalin faces an additional count of providing material support to terrorists.

At a short hearing Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo agreed to have Mohamud and Doreh return next Tuesday to discuss bail.

Maolin agreed to waive his right to a hearing until an unspecified later date.

Prosecutors described the defendants as a flight risk at a hearing on Wednesday, while the judge said they could also be considered dangerous, based on his reading of the indictment.

Marc Geller, Maolin's lawyer, said he needed time to prepare a set of conditions for his client's release that would be acceptable to prosecutors.

"I believe we can come up with those conditions, but right now we are unable to do so," Geller said after the hearing.

He said his client is a U.S. citizen, a taxi driver with no criminal record.

"I haven't seen any evidence that he is involved in these alleged activities," Geller said.

The indictment, handed up on Oct. 22, alleges all three defendants conspired to send money to al-Shabaab, based in the East African country.

The indictment alleges that in late 2007 and early 2008, a top military leader of the terrorist group asked for money from Moalin, who coordinated fundraising efforts and financial transfers with his co-defendants.

Moalin also allegedly provided a house in Somalia to al-Shabaab, knowing it would be used to prepare for and carry out killings.

Money was sent to the organization even after the military leader died, the indictment charges.

Moalin was arrested Sunday, just before he was to board a flight at Lindbergh Field, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mohamud and Doreh were arrested Monday.

The arrests were made by FBI agents, with help from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers.

The defendants generally speak and understand English, though their lawyers asked for a Somali-speaking interpreter to be available for court hearings and meetings with their clients at the MCC, which they said was a difficult place to communicate with their clients.

The judge also scheduled a motions and trial-setting hearing for Dec. 3.

The indictment describes al-Shabaab as a group that uses assassinations, improvised explosives devices, rockets, mortars, automatic weapons, suicide bombings and other tactics of intimidation and violence to undermine Somalia's government and its supporters.

SDSU terrorism expert Dr. Dipak Gupta describes al-Shabaab as "brutal" and "a very violent group."

"There are allegations of them recruiting child soldiers," Gupta told News 8.

Gupta also says the group is recruiting supporters residing in the Western world, especially the United States, to raise financial and other types of support that can be funneled to al-Shabaab's leaders in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab was in the news late last week when its members executed a pair of teenage girls by firing squad in a central Somali town, after accusing them of spying for the United States. Townspeople were forced to watch the shooting.

The organization, based in southern Somalia, imposes a Taliban-style religious order in areas under its control. Some of its fighters have trained in Afghanistan and are linked to al-Qaeda, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

Many of al-Shabaab's attacks are against aid workers and African Union peacekeepers, according to the NCTC.

 

This is an update. The original story is below.

 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Three San Diego men charged with conspiring to funnel money to a Somalia-based militant group have pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

In Federal Court in downtown San Diego Wednesday,  Mohamed Mohamud and Issa Doreh, through their attorneys, made their pleas.
The third suspect, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, pleaded not guilty on Monday.

According to the federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, Moalin, Mohamud and Doreh coordinated fundraising efforts and money transfers to al-Shabab in 2007 and 2008. They allegedly sent more than $9,000 to leaders of Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization based in Somalia with ties to Al-Quaeda.

Moalin also is accused of providing a house in Somalia for al-Shabab fighters. According to the indictment, that house was intended to be used in a conspiracy to kill people.

Immigration officials arrested Moalin before he boarded a flight Sunday in San Diego. The other two were arrested Monday.

Last August, San Diegan Jehad Mostafa and 14 others nationwide were indicted, accused of proving money and other aid to Al-Shabaab. It is not clear if these three recent arrests have any connection.

"They can go to another country and they can adopt that culture very quickly," FBI Special Agent Keith Slotter told News 8 last summer after Mostafa's arrest. "then they can return to the US and return to this culture very quickly."

All three suspects taken into custody this week face up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.

 

This is an update. The original story is below.


SAN DIEGO (CNS) -  A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday accuses three San Diego men of providing support to a terrorist organization based in Somalia.

Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 33, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 38, and Issa Doreh, 54, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations, conspiracy to kill on a foreign country and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

Moalin alone faces an additional count of providing material support to terrorists, Duffy said.

The indictment, handed up on Oct. 22, alleges the defendants conspired to send money to al-Shabaab, based in the East African country.

The indictment alleges that in late 2007 and early 2008, a top military leader of the terrorist group asked for money from Maolin, who coordinated fund-raising efforts and financial transfers with his co-defendants.

Moalin also allegedly provided a house in Somalia to al-Shabaab, knowing it would be used to prepare for and carry out killings.

Money was sent to the organization even after the military leader died, according to the indictment.

Moalin was arrested Sunday, just before he boarded a flight at Lindbergh Field, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mohamud and Doreh were taken into custody the following day.

The arrests were made by FBI agents, with help from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers.

The indictment describes al-Shabaab as a group that uses assassinations, improvised explosive devices, rockets, mortars, automatic weapons, suicide bombings and other tactics of intimidation and violence to undermine Somalia's government and its supporters.

Al-Shabaab was in the news late last week when its members executed a pair of teenage girls by firing squad in a central Somali town, after accusing them of spying for the United States. Townspeople were forced to watch the shooting.

The organization, based in southern Somalia, imposes a Taliban-style religious order in areas under its control. Some of its fighters have trained in Afghanistan and are linked to al-Qaeda, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

Many of al-Shabaab's attacks are against aid workers and African Union peacekeepers, according to the NCTC.

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