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Two Sentenced in US for Supporting al-Shabab

  • VOA News

A U.S. federal court has handed down prison terms for two men convicted of supporting Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Forty-six-year-old Mahamud Sharif Omar was sentenced Tuesday to spend at least 20 years in prison on two separate jail terms to be served concurrently.

Twenty-eight-year-old Kamal Said Hassan was sentenced to spend at least 10 years behind bars, also on two concurrent prison terms.

Both men are residents of Minneapolis, a Midwestern U.S. city with a large Somali immigrant population.

Omar was convicted last year of delivering money to al-Shabab while on a trip to Somalia in 2008 and helping several young men travel from the Minneapolis area to Somalia to fight with the militant group.

Hassan pleaded guilty in 2009 to raising money for al-Shabab and, during a trip to Somalia, participating in an attack on Ethiopian troops.

The U.S. district court in Minneapolis is set to hand down seven other sentences this week on terrorism-related charges.

The cases arose out of "Operation Rhino" — a federal investigation into the disappearance of about 20 young ethnic Somali men from the Minneapolis area since 2007. The Justice Department says the men were recruited to fight Somali government and African Union troops alongside al-Shabab in Somalia.

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