Minnesota men sentenced in Somali terror case

MINNEAPOLIS — Two men who left Minnesota to join the terrorist group Al Shabab in Somalia were sentenced to three years in federal prison Tuesday, getting reduced sentences for their cooperation with the government’s investigation into what has been called one of the largest efforts to recruit US fighters into a foreign terror group.

Abdifatah Yusuf Isse and Salah Osman Ahmed both traveled to Somalia in 2007 and spent about a week in an Al Shabab training camp. They found a way to leave the camp once they learned what Al Shabab was all about.


They each pleaded guilty in 2009 to one count of providing material support to a terrorist group. They each faced a maximum of 15 years in prison. But prosecutors asked for sentences of around six to seven years because both cooperated with the investigation.

US District Judge Michael Davis gave the two men three years apiece; they are expected to get credit for time served.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Later Tuesday, Davis handed down a 12-year sentence to Omer Abdi Mohamed, who allegedly served as a recruiter for Al Shabab in the United States. He pleaded guilty in 2011 on the eve of going to trial on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He also faced a maximum of 15 years in prison but prosecutors asked for less time because of his cooperation.

Unlike several other defendants in the case, Mohamed was not accused of traveling to Somalia to fight for Al Shabab, though he admitted to helping some Minnesota men get plane tickets to Somalia.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of