Somali in Texas Sentenced for Helping Terrorists

Al Shabaab
AP Photo

Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim, 43, was sentenced in a San Antonio federal court on Thursday to fifteen years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in an immigration matter.

Al-Shabaab is a radical Islamist terrorist group based in Somalia that pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012. The United States designated Al-Shabaab a terrorist organization in 2008.

Ibrahim, a Somali citizen, was charged with two counts on July 31, 2014 and pleaded guilty to both counts against him, according to an FBI press release. The information charging him was kept sealed until being unsealed in the San Antonio court on Thursday for Ibrahim’s sentencing.

Ibrahim admitted that from about May 18, 2010 to about Jan. 31, 2014, he “knowingly conspired to provide material support and resources, specifically sending e-mails enlisting support for al-Shabaab and making a cash payment to a known member of al-Shabaab for the benefit of the organization.”

Regarding the charge of making a false statement in an immigration matter, Ibrahim had requested refugee status and had falsely claimed that he was a member of Somalia’s minority Awer clan and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan, when in fact he was actually a member of the Hawiye clan.

The FBI was joined in the investigation of Ibrahim’s case by the Border Patrol, as part of the San Antonio Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Roomberg and Christina Playton, with the Western District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.