Three people have been arrested and two are being sought on charges of providing material support to Shabab, the militant group waging a terrorist campaign in Somalia, the
The five are accused of one count of conspiracy and 20 counts of providing material support to the group, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. They are accused of sending the group money, often in amounts of $50 or $100.
The charges are contained in a June 26 indictment issued by a grand jury in the eastern district of Virginia. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, Justice officials said.
Those arrested Wednesday are: Muna Osman Jama, 34, at her home in Reston, Va.; Hinda Osman Dhirane, 44, at her home in Kent, Wash.; and Farhia Hassan, at her residence in the Netherlands, officials said in a statement.
Still being sought are Fardowsa Jama Mohamed, a fugitive in Kenya, and Barira Hassan Abdullahi, a fugitive in Somalia.
According to the Justice Department, Jama and Dhirane "allegedly directed a network composed primarily of women who provided monthly payments that were coordinated, facilitated and tracked by the defendants to their conduits in Kenya and Somalia. According to court records, Jama was principally responsible for sending money to Kenya through her conduit, defendant Fardowsa Jama Mohamed, while Dhirane was primarily responsible for sending money to Somalia through her conduit, defendant Barira Hassan Abdullahi."
According to court records, the defendants referred to the money they sent overseas as "living expenses," and they repeatedly used code words such as "orphans" and "brothers in the mountains" to refer to Shabab fighters, and "camels" to refer to trucks needed by the group, the Justice Department said.