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Charter school volunteer gets prison for al-Shabaab recruiting

May 15, 2013 at 10:01 AM

MINNEAPOLIS, May 15 (UPI) -- A federal judge sentenced a Minneapolis charter school volunteer to 14 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists.

Prosecutors said Omer Abdi Mohamed was accused of organizing small groups of young Somali men to return to their homeland to take up arms for the Islamist terror group al-Shabaab, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis pronounced the sentence on Tuesday, three-and-a-half years after Mohammed was charged and almost two years after he pleaded guilty.

Mohamed's attorney Peter Wold had denied the defendant was a recruiter or organizer for al-Shabaab. The group has been battling Somalia's nascent government.

Mohammed was among four people Davis sent to prison in a continuing series of sentencings stemming from Operation Rhino, the FBI's investigation into the exodus of young men from the Twin Cities to fight for al-Shabaab.

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