Amina Ali arrested in court for refusing to stand for judge
Amina Farah Ali might be facing trial for giving material support to terrorist groups. But that doesn't mean she's going to stand up if she doesn't feel like it.
Ali, the 35-year-old woman accused of funneling money to Somali militant group al-Shabaab, was arrested in court this morning after refusing to stand up when the judge entered the courtroom.
Ali's lawyer Dan Scott said her refusal to stand was done on religious grounds, the Star Tribune reports. But that didn't work for U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis, who ordered that Ali be arrested and taken out of the courtroom.
Man. The court hasn't even seated a jury yet, and already this trial is pretty interesting.
Ali and another woman, 64-year-old Hawo Hassan, are among 14 Somali-Americans who were reeled in by the FBI in early August, accused of supporting al-Shabaab. Authorities claim at least 21 Americans have left this country to take up arms for al-Shabaab in Somalia.
At the time, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described those arrested as being part of "a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and fighters to al-Shabaab from cities across the United States."
Hassan and Ali claim they are innocent, and were only collecting money and goods as charity for refugees, according to the Star Tribune.
But prosecutors say they have taped phone conferences in which Ali revealed the true meaning of their work, telling the others listening that they should "forget about other charities" in favor of "the jihad."
Ali faces 12 counts of support of terrorism, a charge that comes with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.