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FBI investigating Minnesota women since 2008


Summary of story from the Miami Herald, October 6, 2011

Two Minnesota women accused of siphoning money to a terrorist cell in Somalia have been under investigation since the summer of 2008, an FBI agent has revealed.

Special Agent Michael Wilson testified on Thursday at the trial of 35-year-old Amina Farah Ali and 64-year-old Hawo Mohamed Hassan. They allege they were helping the needy.

Wilson says agents in Minnesota got a tip from FBI headquarters that Ali had made contact with a “prohibited group.” Agents then set up a wiretap on Ali’s phones from September 2008.

The court heard recordings of some intercepted calls on Thursday. Prosecutors used the calls and records from money transfer businesses to try to prove that Ali gave money to al-Shabab, which the US considers a terrorist group.

Added by WVoN –  The worst drought in over half a century has ravaged the horn of Africa this year, and famine has particularly devastated Somalia. The country does not have a central government and civil conflict is widespread.

The Islamist al-Shabab controls a significant part of the south of the country, the worst affected area, and it has been reported the group have blocked aid agencies from reaching those in particular need of help.

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