Extradited terrorist suspect appears in US court

16th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A 45-year-old Somali terrorism suspect, who was extradited to the United States last week, made his first appearance in court in St Paul, Minnesota on Monday.

Mahamud Said Omar is suspected of supporting the Somali rebel organisation al-Shabaab, designated by the US authorities as a terrorist organisation.

So far the suspect has not given a statement. He has requested an interpreter for the Somali Maay Maay dialect. So far none is available.

Local paper the reports that the next hearing will be on 26 August to give the defence time to prepare its case.

Mahamud Said Omar was arrested in 2009 at an asylum seekers centre in the Dutch town of Dronten. He had travelled to the Netherlands from Minnesota a year earlier. He is believed to have recruited young men in the US state for the 'holy war' in Somalia.

The writes, the authorities believe at least 20 Somali-American men who left Minnesota in separate waves since 2007 were recruited by Al-Shabab to join its fight for control of the East African nation.

Mr Omar is one of 14 American-Somali men who have been arrested in an FBI investigation into recruitment for al-Shabaab.

FBI agent E.K. Wilson praised Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten for his role in the extradition procedures: “We would not have been able to get to this place in this particular extradition without the expertise and professionalism of this Dutch agency."  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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