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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 5, 2015

Somali Citizen Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison For Conspiring To Provide Material Support To Al-Shabaab

This afternoon in San Antonio, 43-year-old Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim, a citizen of Somalia, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in an Immigration matter announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, Acting United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division and Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector.

Ibrahim, 43, a citizen of Somalia, was charged in a two-count superseding information, returned on July 31, 2014 and unsealed today in San Antonio, and pleaded guilty to both counts of the information on July 31, 2014.  Ibrahim admitted that from about May 18, 2010, to about Jan. 31, 2014, he knowingly conspired to provide material support and resources, specifically sending emails enlisting support for al-Shabaab and making a cash payment to a known member of al-Shabaab for the benefit of the organization.  Ibrahim knew at the time that al-Shabaab was designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization.

Ibrahim also pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an immigration matter.  According to the information, Ibrahim knowingly lied in his application for naturalization as he had previously lied on his request for refugee status, falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan.  However, Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution.  Ibrahim also admitted he had lied on his naturalization application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an al-Shabaab member.

“Protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism both at home and abroad is the highest priority of this office, and today’s sentencing is yet another victory in that fight," said SAC Christopher Combs, San Antonio FBI.  “FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is dedicated to investigating and vigorously prosecuting anyone who provides support or resources to terrorists or foreign terrorist organizations.  We commend the hard work, dedication, and exceptional coordination of the local state and federal agencies assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force who made this case a success.”

“This conviction highlights the greater interagency cooperation that works to safeguard our communities against those that wish to do us harm,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector.  “I applaud the hard work and dedication of all the men and women who protect our country on a daily basis.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Border Patrol together as part of the San Antonio Joint Terrorism Task Force.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Roomberg and Christina Playton for the Western District of Texas.

Updated February 4, 2016