Minn. witness describes early al-Shabab recruiting

6:28 PM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
Photo courtesy Abdullahi Said Omar and Minnesota Public Radio
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MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota man who traveled to Somalia to enlist in the terrorist group al-Shabab has identified a person portrayed as an early leader in recruiting.

Salah Osman Ahmed is testifying in the federal trial of Mahamud Said Omar. He is accused of helping young men travel to Somalia.

Ahmed pointed to a picture Tuesday of a man he called "Farhan." The document from prosecutors says Farhan is actually Abdiweli Yassin Isse.

Another traveler testified last week that "Farhan" was one of the first people to begin talking in 2007 about traveling to Somalia, saying the men would go to paradise if they fought Ethiopians seen by many Somalis as invaders.

Authorities say more than 20 young men have gone to Somalia from Minnesota. At least six died.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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