By Danny Fenster
It wasn’t the Avon lady. It wasn’t even two generous ladies seeking donations for the poor and needy of Somalia they claimed to be.
Amina Farah Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, two naturalized U.S. citizens from Somalia living in Rochester, Minn., were convicted Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis of providing material support to Somali terrorist groups, according to a U.S. Attorney press release out of Minnesota.
Ali, Hassan and others raised money for the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab by soliciting donations door-to-door in Somali neighborhoods of Minnesota and other North American cities for the poor and needy of their homeland.
In the trial, authorities said the evidence showed that Ali had been in telephone communications with al-Shabaab members, who had requested financial assistance from her from Sept. 17, 2008 to July 19, 2010. They then used various money remittance companies to transfer the money to al-Shabaab with false names identifying recipients.
“On July 14, 2009, the day after the FBI executed a search warrant at her home, Ali telephoned her primary al-Shabaab contact, saying, ‘I was questioned by the enemy here . . . . they took all my stuff and are investigating it . . . do not accept calls from anyone.,'” according to the press release.
The two face a maximum 15 year sentence for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Hassan faces eight years for making false statements to agents when questioned about her support.