Skip to main content
Press Release

Al Shabaab Operative Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 111 Months In Prison For Conspiring To Support And Receive Military-Type Training From A Foreign Terrorist Organization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MOHAMED IBRAHIM AHMED was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 111 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to, and receive military-type training from, al Shabaab, a terrorist organization based in Somalia. The U.S. Department of State has designated al Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed traveled thousands of miles to align himself with al Shabaab, to aid their campaign of terror, and to learn their ‘ways of war.’ Today, his journey ends in prison and marks the latest victory in our constant effort to protect Americans from terrorism at home and around the world.”

According to the Superseding Information filed in Manhattan federal court, and prior court filings:

Al Shabaab has used violent means to destabilize the government of Somalia and to force the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. The group has recruited foreign fighters to join in its “holy war” in Somalia, resulting in men from other countries, including the United States, traveling there to engage in violent jihad. Al Shabaab has also made numerous public statements demonstrating its intent to harm the United States.

In early 2009, AHMED left his home in Sweden and traveled to Somalia in order to support and receive military-type training from al Shabaab. While in Somalia, AHMED contributed approximately 3,000 Euros to al Shabaab, received training and instruction with respect to bomb-making and bomb-detonation, and purchased an AK-47 rifle, additional magazines, and two grenades. AHMED subsequently provided the rifle and magazines to an al Shabaab military commander.

In addition to the prison term, an order of judicial removal was signed, and AHMED will be deported upon completion of the sentence. He was also ordered to pay a mandatory $200 special assessment.

AHMED, 38, a native of Eritrea and a lawful resident of Sweden, was arrested in Nigeria in November 2009. On March 6, 2010, AHMED was transferred to the custody of the United States and subsequently transported to the Southern District of New York for prosecution.

AHMED pled guilty in June 2012 to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (al Shabaab) and one count of conspiracy to receive military-type training from a Foreign Terrorist Organization (al Shabaab).

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force based in Manhattan – which principally consists of special agents of the FBI and detectives of the New York City Police Department. He also expressed gratitude to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, the Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Department of State for their extraordinary assistance in the case. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Governments of Sweden and Nigeria for their assistance in this matter.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Naftalis, John P. Cronan, and Rachel P. Kovner are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated May 13, 2015

Press Release Number: 13-101