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Tag: Somali

Ex-Virginia Cab Driver Captured After Being Placed on ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ List

Liban Haji Mohamed

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Less than two months after the FBI added a Washington-area cabbie to the bureau’s “Most Wanted Terrorist ” list, the Somali-born U.S. citizen was arrested and taken into custody of the Somali government, Reuters reports.

Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, was added to the list for allegedly providing support to the Somali-based terrorists al Shabaab.

The Somali government arrested Shabaab several days ago, but whether the country sends him back to the U.S. is still anyone’s guess.

Mohamed left the U.S. in 2012 after living in the northern Virginia suburbs near Washington.

Minneapolis FBI Refused to Use Somali Outreach Program to Spy on Groups

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI office deserves kudos for doing the right thing.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the FBI directed agents in Minneapolis and five other U.S. cities in 2009 to use community outreach with Somali groups as cover to gather intelligence on terrorist recruiting efforts and on individuals who would likely be vulnerable to being radicalized.

But the paper reports that the Minneapolis field office refused from the start to follow the spying directive, which had been approved by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“We never followed it because at the time we believed our brand of community outreach would engender the trust we’d built up here,” said Kyle Loven, the FBI’s spokesman in Minneapolis, according to the paper. “We took great care to make sure our outreach specialists were not involved in any investigations.”

To read more click here.

In December 2010, the Obama administration halted the spy operation against Somalis be stopped immediately, the paper reported.

Islamic Group: FBI Agents Intimidate Somali Man; Bureau Investigates

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Minneapolis office is investigating claims that two agents pressured a Somali man to work as an informant in the Somali community, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, requested the probe last week.

The man claims the agents were “intimidating and threatening” him in an attempt to get him to cooperate with an undercover investigation, the Pioneer Press reported.

The FBI pledged to take the allegations seriously.

“We’re just trying to determine what happened, and appropriate action will be taken, or not, depending on what we discover here,” FBI Special Agent Kyle Loven told the Pioneer Press.

 

 

2 Somali Pirates Get Life in Deaths of S/V Quest Hijacking

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two Somali pirates involved in the hijacking of the S/V Quest, which resulted in the death of four Americans, were sentenced Monday in Norfolk, Va. fed court to life in prison.

Muhidin Salad Omar, 30, and Mahdi Jama Mohamed, who is about 24, admitted in the plea agreements that they participated in the hijacking off the coast of Somalia in February , but said they did not shoot any of the victims, authorities said.

“Somali piracy is a scourge on the world stage, and it continues to grow more widespread and more violent,” said Virginia U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride in a statement. “Armed attacks on the high seas carry a very real threat of death to those taken hostage, a threat that was tragically made evident in this case. That threat remains for hundreds of hostages held hostage in Somalia, and a life sentence sends a strong message to anyone who chooses to engage in piracy against U.S. interests that they will face severe consequences.”

“Muhidin Salad Omar and Mahdi Jama Mohamed will spend the rest of their lives behind bars, far away from the high seas they terrorized,” added Janice K. Fedarcyk, head of the New York FBI.

 

2 Somali Pirates Get Life in Death of 4 U.S. Citizens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The pirate biz may have provided a good life for two Somalian men. Now it’s simply providing life — in prison that is.

Ali Abdi Mohamed, 30, and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf, 31, were both sentenced Monday in federal court in Norfolk, Va. to life in prison for their roles in the pirate attack in February off the coast of Oman against the S/V Quest, which resulted in the murder of four U.S. citizens, the Justice Department said.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Mark Russ, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Norfolk, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis.

“Piracy is a scourge that threatens nations, commerce, and individual lives,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride in a statement. “This is the first case where American lives have been lost due to Somali piracy, and as Somali pirates expand their territory, the risk of violence and harm to others continues to grow. Today’s sentences send a message to all those who participate in piracy that armed attacks on the high seas carry lifelong consequences.”

Janice Fedarcyk, head of the New York FBI added: “The pirates’ vain attempt to obtain ransom, after nine days at sea, ended in the death of four Americans. Today’s life sentences will be heard throughout the pirate community—and should send a clear message—that the days of unbridled armed robbery and extortion at sea are over. The only plunder these pirates earned is life behind bar.”

Authorities said the two men pled guilty to piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Nine co-conspirators have also pled guilty and will be sentenced in the coming weeks.

The two men were among 19 Somalis who searched the high seas for a vessel to hold for ranson.

After several days at sea, authorities said,  the pirates were approximately 900 miles from Somalia and running low on fuel when they spotted the American vessel, the S/V Quest. So they took the four people aboard as hostages. Eventually during a standoff with U.S. warships, the pirates killed the four hostages.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Somali Pirate Will Remain Anchored For a Long Time: Gets 25 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The modern day pirates continue to baffle the world in their ability to commandeer large ships and get away with it. Still, not all have gone free.

On Thursday, Jama Idle Ibrahim, a/k/a Jaamac Ciidle, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Washington to 25 years in prison for his role in the takeover of a merchant vessel, the M/V CEC Future, in the Gulf of Aden for 71 days from November 2008 to January 16, 2009.

Ibrahim, 39, of Somalia, pled guilty on September 8, 2010 to conspiracy to commit piracy under the law of nations and conspiracy to use a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Authorities said the act of piracy against against the vessel began on Nov. 7, 2008 when Ibrahim and other Somalis pirates, armed with AK 47s, a rocket-propelled grenade, and handguns, attacked and seized the vessel.

The pirates held the vessel, cargo, and 13 crew members for ransom and forced the crew to anchor in waters off the Somalia coast.

In time, additional pirates boarded the vessel. The pirates threatened the crew, stole money, food and supplies and gave up the ship after they got a $1.7 million ransom.

“Modern-day pirates are nothing like the swashbuckling heroes in Hollywood movies,” said D.C.  U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. “Today’s pirates are ruthless criminals who hold ships and their crews hostage with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Twenty-five years in prison is a just punishment for this attack that threatened international commerce and human life.”

13 Somalis and 1 Yemini Pirate Indicted in Deaths of 4 Off Somali Coast


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds have indicted 13 Somalis and one Yemeni pirate in Norfolk, Va., in the tragic hijacking of a 54-foot yacht off the Somali coast that resulted in the death of four U.S. citizens last month following a five-day standoff with American authorities, the FBI said.

“This is a horrific crime, involving the armed hijacking of an American ship and the slaughter of American citizens,” said U.S. Neil H. MacBridge. “The alleged pirates will now face justice in an American courtroom.”

“These 14 men are alleged to have been willing to do anything, including killing their hostages, in a vain attempt to obtain ransom,” added FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk of the New York office, which investigated the case. “Modern day piracy has real and serious consequences, disrupting commerce and threatening Americans’ lives. It is a crime against the international community, a form of terrorism on the high seas.”

American authorities tried to negotiate the release of the hostages, but the pirates allegedly killed all of them before authorities made the arrests.

FBI’s Ralph Boelter in Minn. Put a Face on Agency in Community

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ralph Boelter, head of the Minneapolis FBI, who headed up a large scale probe into counterterrorism involving local Somalis heading overseas to fight with a terrorist organization, is headed east to Washington to become the agency’s deputy assistant director in charge of counterterrorism, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Boelter told the paper that he plans to apply what he learned in Minneapolis: To fight extremism, the agency needs to establish sincere relationships with the community.

“We had to be able to show people they could trust me, trust us,” Boelter said of the local commuity.

During his tenure, which lasted four years,  young Somali men were sneaking off to fight in their homeland for Al-Shabab, a U.S. designated terrorist organization.

Saeed Fahia, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that Boelter put a human face on the FBI.

“Now the FBI is a known quantity. It’s not just an acronym. It’s people you know,” she said.