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US Jails Mother of 6 Caught Funding Al Shabaab Operations in Kenya
Somali News

US Jails Mother of 6 Caught Funding Al Shabaab Operations in Kenya

Farhia Hassan, a 38-year-old mother of six, has been sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly sending Ksh35,700 to Al Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia within 3 years.

Hassan, a Somali native, was initially charged in 2014 but fought extradition charges for seven years but lost the fight and was eventually taken to a US District Court in Alexandria for trial. She had earlier been granted asylum in the Netherlands as a teenager.

According to the prosecutors, Hassan is among 15 women who communicated in an online chatroom to contribute funds in support of Al Shabaab activities in Kenya and Somalia.

The prosecutors went ahead to state that despite there being difficulties to trace the payments, the money is not insignificant. They opined that the money could be used to purchase an AK-47 rifle or a camel or pay for an Al Shabaab’s monthly wages.

“Every indication before the Court is that she believes just as firmly in Al Shabaab’s mission as she did in 2011 when the conspiracy began,” prosecutor Danya Atiyeh stated.

Despite the prosecutors demanding the court to sentence Hassan to 8 years, she was only given 3 years. The other two leaders of the group have already been convicted and sentenced to 12 and 11 years in prison respectively.

According to Hassan’s legal team, lawyers Jessica Carmichael and Yancey Ellis, it was out of the US boundaries to charge a Dutch woman who had no connection to the US for supporting the terror group.

“Farhia Hassan has been punished enough. Her minimal contribution only warranted a minimal sentence of about nine months,” the defence team wrote.

The legal team noted that even though Al Shabaab is recognized as a terrorist group by the US government, it did not have the same recognition in the Netherlands or the European Union when the group was active between 2011 and 2014. As stated by law, Hassan is eligible for a chance to appeal her conviction and sentence.

The terror group has been linked to attacks in the country that have claimed many hundreds of lives.

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