nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Gufran Mohammed and Mohamed Hussein Said (S.D. Fla. Aug. 8, 2013) (material support charges involving AQ, al Nusrah, and al Shabaab)

An interesting case involving two men (one a naturalized citizen from Saudi Arabia (and resident there) and the other from Kenya) charged with sending thousands of dollars, through Western Union, to both al Nusrah (in Syria) and al Shabaab (in Somalia) over the past two years. The press release has details below, but also note the interesting fact that the men were arrested overseas (I’m not sure where, and I’m not sure by whom in the first instance) and then removed (presumably via rendition not formal extradition) to the United States by FBI agents (see here for brief references to those details).

From the press release:

MIAMI – Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John P. Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), announce that today two individuals, one a U.S. citizen, made their initial appearance in federal court in Miami on an indictment returned in the Southern District of Florida.

The fifteen-count indictment charges Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen and resident of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Mohamed Hussein Said, 25, a Kenyan national and resident of Nairobi and Mombasa, with conspiring to provide, and attempting to provide, material support to three separately designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in Iraq/al-Nusrah Front (AQI/al-Nusrah Front), and al-Shabaab. If convicted, each defendant faces a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison for each count of the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Mohammed and Said conspired to provide money and recruits to al-Qa’ida, AQI/al-Nusrah Front in Syria and al-Shabaab in Somalia. The charges allege that Mohammed sent a series of wire transfers to Said for the purpose of supporting al-Shabaab, and to an individual whom he believed was a fundraiser, recruiter, and supplier for al-Qa’ida and AQI/al-Nusrah Front for the purpose of supporting al-Qa’ida and AQI/al-Nusrah Front. In addition, Mohammed and Said agreed to support al-Qa’ida and AQI/al-Nusrah Front by recruiting and moving experienced al-Shabaab fighters to the conflict in Syria.

U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami-Dade Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Frazier and Ricardo Del Toro and Trial Attorney Jolie Zimmerman from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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