Two San Diego Men Deny Terror Links To Al-Shabab
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Two San Diego men pleaded not guilty today to charges they gave money and other support to the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab.
Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud and Issa Doreh, stood side by side handcuffed and dressed in orange jumpsuits as their lawyers entered not-guilty pleas on their behalf.
A third defendant Basaaly Saeed Moalin pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday.
Federal prosecutor William Cole asked U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo to deny the men bail because the government believes they pose a flight risk. Gallo granted the request and added that the men could pose a danger as well.
An indictment unsealed this week alleges Moalin, Mohamud and Doreh conspired to provide material support including money to a terrorist organization and also conspired to kill in a foreign country.
Meanwhile, more details about the accused men emerged Wednesday. Mohamud has led prayer services at Masjid Al-Ansar, which means mosque that helps in City Heights, for the past 10 years. Worshippers there refused to discuss the imam. Moalin is a local cab driver. And defendant Doreh is a long-time San Diego resident.
A search warrant for Moalin's apartment paints the three men as devoted al-Shabab supporters. When Moalin's al-Shabab contact in Somalia died in an attack in 2008, Moalin sought out a new connection and found one two months later. The warrant alleges the three men sent thousands of dollars to al-Shabab via Shidaal Express which is a money transfer system that operated out of San Diego until 2009. The warrant also alleges that Doreh, imam Mohamud and Moalin talked about how little was needed to finance a rocket propelled grenade.
One of the indicted men, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, has been the imam for 10 years at the City Heights mosque called Masjid al-Ansar which means mosque that helps and Issa Doreh is a long-time San Diego resident. Basaaly Saeed Moalin is a cab driver born in Somalia.
According to a search warrant the money the three men are accused of sending to al-Shabab was tranferred from the United States to Somalia via Shidaal Express. Shidall express was a money transfer system that operated out of San Diego until 2009.
Another interesting detail that surfaced about defendant Moaliin, the cab driver, is that his alleged fund-raising efforts for al-Shabab extended beyond San Diego. He solicited money from people in Europe and Canada.