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Kent woman accused of supporting Somali jihadists

By Tajuddin
In Local News
Jul 24th, 2014
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Federal prosecutors in Washington

Washington (DIPLOMAT)- A Kent woman was among three suspected supporters of a Somali jihadist group arrested Wednesday in an international sweep of suspected al-Shabaab backers.

Hinda Osman Dhirane, 44, was arrested in Kent on charges of supporting a terrorist organization. Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., contend she ant two other women were supporting al-Shabaab, one of several groups currently fighting for control of Somalia.

Federal prosecutors contend Dhirane and Virginia resident Muna Osman Jama were the leaders of an al-Shabaab fundraising conspiracy.

According to a Justice Department statement, Jama and Dhirane are suspected of running a network of women who provided monthly payments that made their way to Kenya and Somalia. Dhirane is alleged to have sent money to Somalia primarily, while Jama is alleged to have sent money to Kenya.

Investigators say the women would call al-Shabaab fighters their “brothers in the mountains.” The money transfers often were broken down into small amounts as low as $50 or $100, and the funds were intended for use by al-Shabaab insurgents operating in Somalia.

The Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, commonly known as al-Shabaab, has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government, as well as those of several other nations. The organization has deep ties to Al Qaeda.

A superseding indictment was issued in late June by a federal grand jury in Virginia in which each of the women was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Authorities arrested Dhirane and Jama, 34, on Wednesday, as well as Farhia Hassan was arrested at her residence in the Netherlands. Two other suspects, Fardowsa Jama Mohamed and Barira Hassan Abdullahi, remain at large.

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