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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

US woman charged with aiding Qaeda-linked Somali fighters

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — A California woman has been charged with aiding the Shebab, a Somalia-based militia with ties to Al-Qaeda, the US Department of Justice said Monday.

Nima Ali Yusuf, 24, was arrested on November 12 and has been charged with "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists (and) conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabaab," US attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement, using an alternative spelling of the group's name.

The San Diego resident has also been charged with "making false statements to a government agency in a matter involving international terrorism," Duffy added, without providing further details.

The first two charges each carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a 250,000 dollar (180,000 euro) fine. The false statements charge carries a maximum penalty of eight years and a 250,000 dollar fine.
Yusuf will be held without bail until a detention hearing on Thursday.

The Shebab, a radical Islamist insurgency bent on toppling the US-backed government in Mogadishu, claimed responsibility for July 11 suicide bombings in Uganda that killed 76 people.

Earlier this month three San Diego residents were indicted on similar charges of providing funding and other support for the Shebab.

It was not clear whether the two cases were linked, and Duffy's office declined to comment on the matter.

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