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.”
(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)