Kenyan Charged In US Court For Funding Syrian War
A US judge has scheduled a status conference
on Friday in the case of a Kenyan charged with
helping to finance al-Shabaab and to recruit
Kenyans to fight for an al-Qa’ida-linked group
Mohammed Hussein Said, a 25-year-old
resident of Nairobi and Mombasa, was charged
in August with conspiring with Gufran Ahmed
Kauser Mohammed, a US citizen, to wire a total
of about $96,000 to al-Shabaab and the al-
Nusrah Front in Syria. Both Said and
Mohammed were arrested in Saudi Arabia.
At a hearing in the court in Miami two months
ago, a US prosecutor named four Kenyans
whom Said had allegedly identified as recruits
ready to join al-Nusrah fighters in seeking to
overthrow Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
The four Kenyans, all said to have affiliations
with al-Shabaab or al-Qa’ida, are Salman
Khamis, Shabaan Makose, Salim Omar and
The prosecutor told the court that Makose was
involved in the May 2012 grenade attack on
the Villa Vista sports bar in Mombasa that
killed a woman.
Both Omar and Nasir have had “military
training and fought with al-Shabaab in
Somalia,” prosecutor Ricardo del Toro added in
the August 13 detention hearing for Said and
co-defendant Mohammed. Khamis is said to be
associated with al-Qa’ida in East Africa.
CONNECTED TO AL-SHABAAB AND AL-
Said is also alleged to have sent copies of the
passports of three of the Kenyan recruits to an
online source whom he believed to be an al-
Qa’ida member but who was actually a US
In online conversations last year with the
undercover agent posing as a fellow
conspirator, Said allegedly indicated that “he
was connected to and active with the
leadership of al-Shabaab and al-Qa’ida in East
Africa,” Mr del Toro told the court.
The prosecutor added that Said informed the
undercover agent that he had participated in a
bombing plot in Kenya that ended with the
arrest of Jermaine John Grant, a British citizen
now on trial in Mombasa on terrorism charges.
Said allegedly further revealed to the
undercover source that he had met with Mura
Deere, an al-Qa’ida member who was killed in
Mogadishu two years ago along with Hazun
Fazul, a Kenyan citizen identified as the top
commander of al-Shabaab and the leader of al-
Qa’ida’s East Africa cell.
“The strength of the government’s case
against Mr Said is overwhelming,” prosecutor
del Toro said in August in arguing successfully
against bail for the two indicted individuals,
who each face 15 terrorism-related charges.
The US government’s case against Said
involves “the most intricate details about
terrorist operations of al-Shabaab and al-
Qa’ida in East Africa that only an insider could
know,” Mr del Toro added.
Said is likely to claim in support of his not-
guilty plea that he had been lying to accused
co-conspirator Mohammed about his
involvement with terrorist organisations, the
Mr del Toro noted that Said had spontaneously
told an FBI agent following his arrest that he
“was only trying to dupe Mohammed and that
he was only lying to him in order to get money
The status conference on the case is scheduled
for October 18 with US Judge Ursula Ungaro. A
trial date has not yet been set