A nonprofit education center for Minneapolis’ Somali community says it has been unfairly tarred by prosecutors linking it to the defendant in a federal terrorism probe, writes the Associated Press.
Omer Abdi Mohamed, who had been free pending sentencing on a single terror count to which he pleaded guilty last year, was recently re-arrested after authorities said he failed to disclose the nature of his work at the Essential Learning of Minnesota Institute.
Mr. Mohamed, 27, had reported volunteering at the center, which provides religious education, homework help, and other activities for children in the largest U.S. Somali community. But some parents identified him as its director or manager, and witnesses allege he was a lead recruiter in the area for the Somalia-based militant Islamist network al-Shabab.
“If the defendant is the director … it appears that what is going on at the school represents a great danger to the community,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats said in arguing in court last week for detention of Mr. Mohamed.
Bruce Nestor, an attorney for the institute, said it “provides valuable educational services to people” and that prosecutors are using “association and innuendo” to link it to al-Shabab, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the federal government.