3 Somalis charged in NYC with fighting for al-Shabab - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

3 Somalis charged in NYC with fighting for al-Shabab

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) - Three men facing federal terrorism charges in New York City have strong ties to the same extremist Islamic group that's claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall, U.S. authorities say.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn describe the defendants -- Ali Yasin Ahmed, Madhi Hashi and Mohamed Yusuf -- as "dangerous and influential" members of al-Shabab who were part of an elite unit of suicide bombers. They were captured in Africa last year while traveling to Yemen to team up with the al-Qaida offshoot there.

The three had links to al-Qaida operatives in East Africa "who sought to carry out attacks against the United States and Western interests in that region," prosecutors wrote in a letter filed on Sept. 18, three days before rampaging gunmen killed dozens in an attack on the Nairobi mall.

The men are also accused of having "substantial knowledge regarding an al-Shabab research and development department that was developing chemical weapons for use."

Shortly after the FBI took custody of the men in November, they pleaded not guilty in a sealed proceeding in federal court in Brooklyn to providing material support to al-Shabab. The case has since been unsealed and Ahmed and Hashi were to appear Monday in court for a status conference.

All three men are from Somalia, authorities said. Ahmed, 27, and Yusuf, 29, have citizenship in Sweden and Hashi, 23, in Great Britain.

The charges allege that between 2008 and 2012, the men traveled to Somalia to receive weapons and explosives training from al-Shabab and were "deployed in combat operations" there.

"As alleged, these defendants are not aspiring terrorists - they are terrorists," George Venizelos, head of the FBI's New York office, said when the case was first announced. "They did more than receive terrorist training. They put that training to practice in terrorist operations."

Government papers filed this year cited conversations intercepted by authorities in Sweden as evidence against the men.

In 2008 Ahmed and Yusuf "discussed ... their intention to travel to Somalia for the purpose of joining al-Shabab and dying as martyrs," the papers say. In another conversation, Ahmed said he was an associate of a suicide bomber who killed two dozen people, including three government ministers, at a hotel gathering in Mogadishu in 2009.

Ahmed was interviewed by authorities in 2008 but denied he was an al-Shabab supporter, the papers allege. But by 2011, all three were in Somalia fighting for al-Shabab and enrolled in a "suicide bomber training program," the papers added.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Wineries flourish in Brooklyn

    Wineries flourish in Brooklyn

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 02:34:04 GMT
    Hundreds of oak barrels of wine are all stacked in one room. You might think this is Napa, California. But it's not. It's the Brooklyn Winery, located in what was once an old pickle factory in Williamsburg. Refrigerated grapes are brought in from the North Fork of Long Island and from the Finger Lakes and then aged in barrels. These days urban wineries are becoming more popular, and they're popping up all over the borough.
    Hundreds of oak barrels of wine are all stacked in one room. You might think this is Napa, California. But it's not. It's the Brooklyn Winery, located in what was once an old pickle factory in Williamsburg. Refrigerated grapes are brought in from the North Fork of Long Island and from the Finger Lakes and then aged in barrels. These days urban wineries are becoming more popular, and they're popping up all over the borough.
  • NYC to overhaul Superstorm Sandy rebuilding program

    NYC to overhaul Superstorm Sandy rebuilding program

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-04-18 01:30:41 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a sweeping report Thursday that examined New York City's recovery progress from Superstorm Sandy and promised to reform a much-maligned program that was supposed to rebuild wrecked homes. Speaking to about 50 homeowners, officials and community leaders in a storm-battered Staten Island neighborhood, the mayor said the city is aiming to start rebuilding an ambitious 500 homes through its federally funded Build-It-Back program.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a sweeping report Thursday that examined New York City's recovery progress from Superstorm Sandy and promised to reform a much-maligned program that was supposed to rebuild wrecked homes. Speaking to about 50 homeowners, officials and community leaders in a storm-battered Staten Island neighborhood, the mayor said the city is aiming to start rebuilding an ambitious 500 homes through its federally funded Build-It-Back program.
  • MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:09:38 GMT
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices