The US District Court Eastern District of Missouri [official website] on Wednesday unsealed an indictment [text, PDF] charging three men with providing material support to Somali-based Islamic terrorist organization al Shabaab [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The October 21 indictment charges Mohamud Abdi Yusuf, Duane Mohamed Diriye and Abdi Mahdi Hussein with funding and providing materials to a known terrorist organization. The federal grand jury charged Yusuf and Hussein with allegedly transferring funds through a Minneapolis wire-transfer business where Hussein was employed to al Shabaab supporters in Somalia from 2008 to July 2009. The indictment details the care the men took to avoid detection, often breaking up transfers into smaller amounts and using code words. Diriye, who is believed to be in Kenya or Somalia, was charged with collecting the funds for al Shabaab. The indictment also mentions unspecified individuals who were allegedly complicit in the conspiracy to provide funding to the organization. Federal agents arrested [AP Report] Yusuf on Monday in St. Louis and Hussein on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Both men appeared in court on Tuesday. Hussein has since been released on bond. The indictments were unsealed the day after three other men were charged [indictment, PDF] in San Diego with providing support to al Shabaab.
The government has increasingly targeted financial transactions in an effort to dry up funding for terrorist organizations. In September, a New York man was charged with providing funds [JURIST report] to a man who attempted in May to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. The indictment alleges that Mohammad Younis unknowingly transferred funds to individuals, including Faisal Shahzad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], through hawala, a "value transfer system in which money does not physically cross international boundaries through the banking system." In August, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced that 14 individuals had been charged with providing money and funding to al Shabaab [JURIST report]. In April 2009, an Afghan man was charged financing terrorist activity [JURIST report]. Haji Juma Khan, who was already detained on charges of narco-terrorism, was accused of providing the Taliban [JURIST news archive] with proceeds from his drug operation with knowledge that the money would be used in terrorist activities in Afghanistan.