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Feds: Minnesota terrorism suspect sent ‘cannon fodder’ to Somalia

Published 10:01am Thursday, October 18, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota terrorism suspect used young men as “cannon fodder” when he helped send them from Minneapolis to their native Somalia to join the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Docherty told jurors during closing arguments of a nearly three-week trial that they should convict Mahamud Said Omar, who is charged with five terror-related counts that accuse him of participating in a conspiracy and providing support to the terrorist group.

Docherty said the evidence shows Omar helped feed fighters into a terror pipeline that recruited young men from Minnesota, which is home to the largest Somali population in the U.S.

“After other people had indoctrinated these young men, he helped them. He helped them physically and he helped them financially to get to Somalia to join al-Shabab,” Docherty said.

Defense attorney Andrew Birrell said the prosecution’s case was built on the corrupt testimony of al-Shabab recruits who have repeatedly lied and only testified because they hoped to reduce their own prison sentences.

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