25 May 2016

Somalia: FBI 'Set Up' Our Sons Somali-American Defendants' Mothers Say

The mothers of two Somali-Americans on trial for allegedly planning to join Islamic State say their sons were "set up" by an FBI informant. The women spoke to VOA Somali outside a Minneapolis court Monday, after the government's star witness, informant Abdirahman Bashir, told the court under cross examination that the FBI paid him $100,000. The mother of defendant Abdirahman Daud called Bashir a "criminal" motivated by money.

No credibility

"He is a liar who wanted to sell our boys and to set them up," Farhiya Mohamed said.  "He was unemployed and he wanted to earn money. All the kids were employed, they have never been to jail, and they used to attend school.  He [Bashir] would visit them in the schools, the college, and their homes to record them."

The mother of defendant Guled Ali Omar decried what she called "incorrect information" being used by prosecutors. "These kids were set up. He [Bashir] was recording them for a year. He told lies about them," said Fadumo Abdullahi Husein. "This is very wrong, I don’t like it."

Charges against defendants

U.S. government prosecutors have charged Daud, 22, Omar, 21, and Mohamed Farah 22, with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to commit murder abroad. Last week, jurors heard recordings in which the men were heard discussing travel plans to Syria and methods to obtain fake passports.  One recording caught the three men making a Skype call to a Minnesota friend who had already gone to Syria and joined Islamic State.

No blacks on jury

Daud's mother noted Tuesday that there are no Muslims or black people on the jury but expressed hope the jurors will be fair.  "I hope they will look into the case and go to the bottom of it," she said.

Falastine Iman contributed to this report

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