Kenyan man pleads guilty in US over terrorism support case
A Kenyan man has pleaded guilty, in a US court, to a case which involves the provision of support for terrorists in Africa and Syria.
Mohamed Said pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges in a case involving Internet chat rooms and other online communications with undercover FBI operatives.
He was charged on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Shabaab in Africa and other extremist organizations operating in Syria such as al-Qaeda.
The 27-year-old man faces a maximum 15-year prison term after he is sentenced on Aug. 14 by US District Judge Ursula Ungaro.
The case began when the FBI agents were monitoring Internet chat rooms frequently visited by extremists, showed the court documents.
FBI undercover employees posed as terrorism recruiters and fundraisers in communications with Said and a co-defendant, Gufran Mohammed, who is already serving a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2014.
Said admitted that he had received over $11,600 in wire transfers from Gufran for al-Shabaab in 2011.
He also said he told Gufran later, “I sent it and it was distributed among” terrorists.” Gufran wrote back “I am sending more this week”.
Said also admitted he was involved in terrorism in conversations he had with inmates at a Miami detention center.
Gufran was based in Saudi Arabia in 2013 where both were arrested in August of the same year.
Said thought Gufran was going there from Africa to pick up more money in support of the terrorist organizations.
He said he had even discussed travel routes, training and possible terrorist operations with an FBI confidential source, who was posing as an al-Shabaab recruit.
Gufran, a naturalized US citizen from India has a master’s degree in computer science from California State University in Los Angeles. He had been residing in Saudi Arabia since 2011.
Said was living in Mombasa, Kenya, and that he had never been to the US before he was arrested.