2 Minnesota women sentenced in Somali terror case
From reporter Brandt Williams:
Two Rochester women convicted of sending money to an Islamist terrorist group in Somalia were sentenced to 20- and 10-year prison terms Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Attorneys representing the women had requested much shorter sentences and say they are disappointed by the decisions of U.S. District Judge Michael Davis. Some members of the Somali community say they are upset by the length of the sentences and were offended by how the women were treated in court.
Before issuing the punishments, Davis took time to ask each woman if they supported jihad, suicide bombings and Sharia law. “Does she understand there are some Muslim women who wear dresses or short skirts?” Davis asked Hassan’s interpreter. Davis said the questions were to determine the likelihood of the women to continue to support terrorist causes when they are released from prison. The questions often caused ripples of reaction in the courtroom gallery.
"Those religious questions were inappropriate," said Hassan Mohamud, a St. Paul imam. "Because every American — every American in America, whether you are Somali or not — has First Amendment rights."
Continue reading…
(Photo: Supporters of two Somali women scheduled to be sentenced for helping a terrorist group gather outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Minneapolis. Credit: MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

2 Minnesota women sentenced in Somali terror case

From reporter Brandt Williams:

Two Rochester women convicted of sending money to an Islamist terrorist group in Somalia were sentenced to 20- and 10-year prison terms Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Attorneys representing the women had requested much shorter sentences and say they are disappointed by the decisions of U.S. District Judge Michael Davis. Some members of the Somali community say they are upset by the length of the sentences and were offended by how the women were treated in court.

Before issuing the punishments, Davis took time to ask each woman if they supported jihad, suicide bombings and Sharia law. “Does she understand there are some Muslim women who wear dresses or short skirts?” Davis asked Hassan’s interpreter. Davis said the questions were to determine the likelihood of the women to continue to support terrorist causes when they are released from prison. The questions often caused ripples of reaction in the courtroom gallery.

"Those religious questions were inappropriate," said Hassan Mohamud, a St. Paul imam. "Because every American — every American in America, whether you are Somali or not — has First Amendment rights."

Continue reading…

(Photo: Supporters of two Somali women scheduled to be sentenced for helping a terrorist group gather outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Minneapolis. Credit: MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

Mohamud Said Omar, 43, seen here in a family photo in front of his former Minneapolis apartment complex, was arrested in the Netherlands. He is accused of bankrolling the purchase of weapons for Islamic extremists and helping others travel to Somalia in 2007 and 2008, but Omar’s family says he was too poor to finance terrorists and was not an extremist.
A federal jury is hearing dueling theories about Omar, the Minneapolis man accused of helping run a terrorist pipeline from Minnesota to Somalia.
Was Mahamud Said Omar an al-Shabab facilitator who steered two waves of American men into the arms of a terrorist organization?
Or was Omar a gentle and simple-minded janitor who was too incompetent to facilitate a jihadist movement?
 Read more about the case from reporter Laura Yuen.
(Photo courtesy Abdullahi Said Omar)

Mohamud Said Omar, 43, seen here in a family photo in front of his former Minneapolis apartment complex, was arrested in the Netherlands. He is accused of bankrolling the purchase of weapons for Islamic extremists and helping others travel to Somalia in 2007 and 2008, but Omar’s family says he was too poor to finance terrorists and was not an extremist.

A federal jury is hearing dueling theories about Omar, the Minneapolis man accused of helping run a terrorist pipeline from Minnesota to Somalia.

Was Mahamud Said Omar an al-Shabab facilitator who steered two waves of American men into the arms of a terrorist organization?

Or was Omar a gentle and simple-minded janitor who was too incompetent to facilitate a jihadist movement?

Read more about the case from reporter Laura Yuen.

(Photo courtesy Abdullahi Said Omar)

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided to allow AT&T to build a 450-foot wireless tower with 24-hour blinking lights near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, an environmental group, tried to block the tower by filing a complaint that argued the structure would harm scenic views in the federally designated wilderness area. The group has not yet decided whether it will appeal the Court’s ruling, said executive director Paul Danicic.
AT&T plans to begin work on the new tower soon, said company spokesperson Alex Carey. The company argued the tower was needed to expand cell phone coverage for residents, visitors, and public safety officers.
Read more from reporter Madeleine Baran.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided to allow AT&T to build a 450-foot wireless tower with 24-hour blinking lights near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, an environmental group, tried to block the tower by filing a complaint that argued the structure would harm scenic views in the federally designated wilderness area. The group has not yet decided whether it will appeal the Court’s ruling, said executive director Paul Danicic.

AT&T plans to begin work on the new tower soon, said company spokesperson Alex Carey. The company argued the tower was needed to expand cell phone coverage for residents, visitors, and public safety officers.

Read more from reporter Madeleine Baran.

Leave your corkscrews at home.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office released this photo to show the results of its first week of weapons screening at court facilities in Brooklyn Park, Edina, and Minnetonka.

Leave your corkscrews at home.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office released this photo to show the results of its first week of weapons screening at court facilities in Brooklyn Park, Edina, and Minnetonka.