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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Al-Qaeda


Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, a 35-year-old resident of Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to al-Qaeda

Warsame, a naturalized Canadian citizen of Somali descent, entered his plea of guilty this afternoon before U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim in federal court in Minneapolis. At sentencing, which was set for 1:30 pm on July 9, 2009, Warsame faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. He has agreed to be removed to Canada upon completion of his criminal sentence.

Warsame was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda in a Jan. 20, 2004, indictment returned in the District of Minnesota. A June 21, 2005, superseding indictment charged Warsame with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda, one count of providing material support to al-Qaeda, and three counts of making false statements to the FBI. Warsame today pleaded guilty to count one of the superseding indictment. The government has agreed to dismiss the remaining charges.

According to the plea agreement, from about March 2000 through at least December 2003, Warsame conspired with others to provide material support to al-Qaeda in the form of personnel, training and currency.

Specifically, in March of 2000, Warsame traveled to Afghanistan where he attended an al-Qaeda training camp outside Kabul. In the summer of 2000, he then traveled to the al Faruq training camp, where he received further training and met Osama Bin Laden. Warsame subsequently worked at an al-Qaeda guesthouse and clinic.

According to the plea agreement, in late March 2001, Warsame traveled from Pakistan via London to Canada. After leaving Pakistan, Warsame established email contacts with several al-Qaeda associates that he had met in Afghanistan. In addition, he sent money to one of his former training camp commanders.

Warsame then relocated to Minneapolis. Throughout 2002 and 2003, he continued to exchange email messages with, and provide information to, several individuals associated with al-Qaeda, according to the plea agreement.

"The many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about today’s guilty plea -- after years of investigation and extensive pre-trial litigation -- deserve special thanks for their efforts," said Assistant Attorney General Kris. "This case serves as a reminder of the continuing threats we face as a nation and our resolve to meet those threats."

The case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is a multi agency effort combining the resources of federal, state and local law enforcement. In addition to the FBI, the investigation was conducted with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Marshals Service, the Minneapolis Police Department, the St. Paul Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. In addition to those agencies, the JTTF in Minneapolis includes representatives of the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Police, the Transportation Safety Administration, the Federal Air Marshals, the Bloomington Police Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, and Trial Attorney Joseph N. Kaster from the Counterrrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014