US prosecutors have convicted two women for leading an online group to raise funds for the Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab reports Reuters.
Muna Osman Jama, 36, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, were found guilty of organizing the so-called “Group of Fifteen” women from eight countries that helped finance al Shabaab military operations and safehouses in Somalia and Kenya, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Virginia.
The “Group of Fifteen” included women from Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as Minneapolis, according to evidence at trial.
Prosecutors said Jama and Dhirane sent the money they raised through the chat room to financiers of al Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, referred to as the “Hargeisa side” and the “Nairobi side”, respectively
Prosecutors said recorded calls between the Group of Fifteen showed that they had close contacts with al Shabaab leadership and that its members were heard laughing about 2013 attacks on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi and the Boston Marathon.
Al Shabaab, which once ruled much of Somalia, wants to topple the Western-backed government and drive out African AMISOM peacekeepers made up of soldiers from Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and other African nations.