St. Louis (KSDK) - A 31-year-old man pled guilty Thursday to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Court documents state Mohamud Abdi Yusuf conspired with others between February 2008 and July 2009 to provide money to al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. It's based in Somalia, and their objective is to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government, eliminating their support by the African Union, and imposing Shari'a law within Somalia. Members of the organization have engaged in, and used, violence, intimidation, and acts of terrorism in Somalia and elsewhere.
"Since 9/11, this is the first international terrorism case prosecuted in Eastern Missouri," said Special Agent in Charge Dennis L. Baker. "At least 20 American citizens from other parts of the U.S. have already traveled to Somalia to join al-Shabaab, which is responsible for assassinating Somali peace activists, international aid workers, numerous civil society figures, and journalists. Senior leaders of al-Shabaab are affiliated with al-Qaida."
Yusuf admitted to soliciting money and transferring it to al-Shabaab under false names and telephone numbers through money remitting businesses in the United States.
Kenya resident Duane Mohamed Diriye, and Abdi Mahdi Hussein, who worked for a money remitting agency in Minneapolis, were also indicted with Yusuf on October 21, 2010.
Hussein has appeared in court, and his case is pending.
Diriye remains at large.
Yusuf pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, and three counts of providing material support to a designated terrorist organization.
He faces up to fifteen years in prison for each count, and/or fines up to $250,000.
Yusuf is set to be sentenced January 31, 2012.