San Diego, CA – A young Somali woman and well-known community activist, Nima Ali Yusuf, was sentenced to eight years in prison, here on Dec.11, for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Yusuf, a volunteer at the Humanitarian African Relief Organization was accused of sending a small sum of money – $1450 – to members of Somali resistance organization al-Shabab.
At issue was the accusation that Yusuf helped out friends in Somalia, who were also said to be members of al-Shabab.
The courtroom was packed with family, friends and supporters when Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz handed down the sentence.
A statement from Yusef’s defense committee refers to her as a hero and notes, “Nimo Yusuf is a daughter with great heart. She will go beyond her ability to help others. She is highly beloved in the Somali Community. She has touched the lives of so many of us here in the twin cities. She translated, provided transportation, cared for the sick and the widows. She loved her faith and followed its commandments of giving, helping, and caring. She carried the burden of others, solved their problems, counseled the youth, cried and cared for many of us who are struggling and adjusting to the new life in America.”
The FBI made use of wiretaps against Yusuf and, according to court records, intercepted and recorded 35,000 calls made by her.
Mick Kelly, of the Committee to Stop Repression, states, “A good person who did good things is being sent to prison for a very long time. The government wants to criminalize people who support a Somalia that is independent of foreign domination. She should be released at once.”