Somalis convicted of terrorism links to be sentenced

A group of Somali men and women convicted of terrorism-related felonies will be sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

Among those facing prison time is a man who recruited young Somali men from Minnesota to travel to the Horn of Africa to fight for the terrorist group al-Shabab. Late last year a jury found Mahamud Said Omar guilty of five counts of terrorism-related felonies -- including 'conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim and injure' -- which carries a potential life sentence.

Two Rochester women convicted in 2011 of sending money to al-Shabab also face 30 years or more in prison.

The convictions are part of what federal officials call Operation Rhino, a sweeping investigation of al-Shabab recruitment in the United States. Since, 2007 about two dozen young Twin Cities men are believed to have left for Somalia to join the group as fighters. Federal prosecutors say they found no evidence that the al-Shabab recruits were planning any attacks in the U.S.

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