MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota woman charged with supporting east African militant group al-Shabab is helping the federal government’s case against the ringleaders of a network of women who have sent thousands of dollars overseas to an organization the U.S. says is involved in terrorism.
Amina Mohamud Esse pleaded guilty to the charge in November 2014, according to case records that were unsealed Thursday. Allegedly part of a group of women organized online, prosecutors said Esse had sent roughly $500 overseas to a woman in Kenya, knowing the funds would eventually make their way to al-Shabab.
It adds another layer to the string of cases involving terrorism recruitment and support in Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population outside of the eastern Africa country. More than 20 young men have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join militants in Syria.
The U.S. designated al-Shabab as a terrorist group in 2008. In 2012, leaders of al-Shabab and al-Qaida announced they were merging.
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