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San Diego Man Charged With Helping Somali Terrorist Group


Aired 8/6/10

A former San Diego man has been charged with helping a Somalian terrorist group. Joining up on Morning Edition to tell us more about Jehad Serwan Mostafa is K-P-B-S Reporter Amita Sharma.

A former San Diego man has been charged with helping a Somali terrorist group with ties to Al Qaeda. Joining us on Morning Edition to tell us more about Jehad Serwan Mostafa is KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma.

DWANE BROWN: Amita, who is Mostafa?

AMITA SHARMA (Reporter): Well, Jehad Serwan Mostafa is a 28-year-old man who grew up in San Diego. Federal prosecutors say he conspired to provide material support, including himself, to this Somali-based terrorist group whose name is Al-Shabab. Now, federal authorities have not arrested him, and that's because they don't know exactly where he is. They believe he's residing somewhere in Somalia. Mostafa was the only man from San Diego whose indictment was unsealed yesterday but there are 13 other people, from Minnesota and Alabama, who are also accused of providing material support in the form of money, personnel and services to Al-Shabab.

BROWN: What can you tell us about the terrorist group Al-Shabab.

SHARMA: Well, Al-Shabab is known as a very violent extremist group. It's trying to topple the Somalian government. Al Shebab has a relationship with Al Qaeda. The groups members believe in a radical form of Islam, and that's similar to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Al-Shabab is also heavy into recruitment within the Somalian community, although it should be pointed out that Mostafa is not Somalian, and San Diego has had some unfortunate personal experience with Al-Shabab. It is the group that claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Uganda last month, which killed dozens of people, including a San Diego man who worked for the international charity called Invisible Children.

BROWN: Thanks. That's KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma.

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