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San Diego woman accused of aiding Somalia terrorist group

A 24-year-old San Diego area woman allegedly sent $800 to a terrorist group in Somalia and tried to recruit at least one “fighter” for the organization, according to recently unsealed federal court records.

According to the documents, authorities secretly recorded phone conversations between Nima Ali Yusuf and suspected terrorists in Somalia. During those conversations, Yusuf allegedly agreed to send money to two fighters in Al Shabab, which is listed by the State Department as a terrorist group.

In one recorded conversation, Yusuf described her attempt to recruit a San Diego man to join Al Shabab as a fighter, according to the documents.

Authorities suspect that she had previously tried to recruit another man for the organization.

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Al Shabab, which has declared that its ultimate goal is the imposition of Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout Somalia, claimed responsibility for bombings in Uganda during the World Cup finals in July that killed 76 people, including an American who worked for a San Diego-based charity. According to officials, the group has not launched attacks on U.S. soil.

On Nov. 12, Yusuf was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to Al Shabab and making false statements to a government agency in a matter involving international terrorism, according to a statement released by Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.

Yusuf, who has been a permanent U.S. resident since 2004, was arraigned Nov. 15.

Her indictment was unsealed Nov. 18. The unsealed search warrant, which was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, was for a car and Yusuf’s apartment in Lemon Grove.

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On Nov. 2, three other San Diego residents were indicted on charges of aiding Al Shabab.

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com


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