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Four Somali nationals convicted in San Diego of terrorist ties

February 22, 2013 |  5:49 pm

Four Somali nationals, including an imam at a local mosque, were convicted Friday in San Diego federal court of providing money and other support to a terrorist group in their native country.

After a three-week trial, a jury deliberated for three days before convicting the four of aiding al-Shabaab, which is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist groups and has been linked to suicide bombings and assassinations meant to topple the government in Somalia.

"The jury clearly did not accept defense claims that months of intercepted conversations about bullets, bombings and jihad were actually conversations about their charitable efforts for orphans and schools," said U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy.

Convicted on conspiracy and other charges were Basaaly Saeed Moalin, 36, a cab driver in San Diego; Issa Doreh, 56, an employee at a now-defunct money exchange business in San Diego; Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, 40, an imam in a mosque in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego; and Ahmed Nasiri Taalil Mohamud, 37, a cab driver in Anaheim.

The four are set to be sentenced May 16. The defendants raised about $8,500 for al-Shabaab, according to evidence presented during the trial.

All four were convicted of three charges of conspiracy, among other charges. Conspiracy to provide support to terrorist carries a maximum 15 years in prison; conspiracy to provide support to a terrorist organization also carries a maximum 15 years in prison; and conspiracy to launder money carries a maximum 20 years in prison.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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