Minneapolis Al-Shabab recruiting case begins

6:05 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The trial of a Minneapolis man for allegedly recruiting young Somalis to engage in fighting in Somalia's civil war began Tuesday in Federal Court.

Chief Judge Michael Davis is presiding over the case in which Mahamud Said Omar, 46, faces three counts of conspiracy and two counts of aiding terrorists with material support.

There were 18 defendants in the "Operation Rhino" investigation, but Omar is the only person to go to trial. The others pleaded guilty, are missing or, in two cases, are presumed dead.

Tuesday's testimony was the prosecution's intention to establish Al-Shabab as a terrorist organization, linked to Al Qaida.

Yet to come is the promised link between Oman and Al-Shabab. Defense Attorney Jon Hopeman objected repeatedly to the extensive testimony about Al-Shabab's version of Islam as irrelevant to the case. Judge Davis repeatedly overruled Hopeman's objections.

The trial is to resume Wednesday morning.

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