The jury in the terror trial of the two Somali women who raised funds for al Shabab in Rochester, Minnesota, returned with a raft of guilty verdicts this morning. The women were convicted of charges including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, of providing support, and of lying to the FBI. The jury deliberated for about 20 hours.
The ringleader was not exactly remorseful after the verdicts were returned. According to the AP, she stood before the judge and stated through an interpreter: “I am very happy.” She added that she knew she was going to heaven — but first she’ll be stopping off in prison. She condemned people in authority who accused her of wrongdoing (and anyone “who is against Muslims”), saying: “You will go to hell.” I’m pretty sure that includes Judge Davis, but count me in as well.
The investigation that resulted in the charges involved here has consumed the local FBI office for a matter of years. The investigation has previously resulted in a string of guilty pleas involving local Somali men supporting al Shabab. Investigators believe at least 21 Somali men have left Minnesota to join al Shabab. We’re a little concerned they might choose to return to Minnesota. It’s almost enough to make you think we have a problem, and that we should do something about it.
The case against the women at trial was based to a significant extent on intercepted communications in which devotion to the jihad was a featured item. So far as could be determined by news reports of the trial, the facts of the case were not in dispute.
Members of the local Somali community have materialized at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis to support the women at trial, but not because they didn’t commit the crimes charged. The members of the local Somali community appearing at the courthouse have not bothered to cite any evidence of innocence. To adapt the defendant’s formulation quoted above, they’re for Muslims.