Amina Ali, Hawo Hassan found guilty on terrorism charges
Amina Ali and Hawo Hassan, the two Rochester women accused of providing material support to Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab, have been found guilty on all counts by a Minneapolis jury.
Hassan was convicted on three counts, while the jury found Ali guilty on all 13 charges against her. In a major terrorism case, with Ali and Hassan the first two prosecutions among dozens of people accused of supporting al-Shabaab, it didn't take jurors all that long to deliver a guilty verdict.
The case was turned over to the jury Monday afternoon, and after just 20 hours of deliberation, 15 guilty verdicts came back. Prosecutors built the case on some rather damning phone calls, in which Ali and Hassan were recorded expressing their happiness for al-Shabaab's violent actions in Somalia.
Prosecutors had hundreds of hours of phone calls which were obtained through wiretaps, MPR reports, which were captured over a period of 10 months. Though the women's defense attorneys had claimed that Ali and Hassan didn't know al-Shabaab was considered a terrorist organization, prosecutors argued that the phone tapes reveal they knew exactly what they were doing.
Ali and Hassan were each found guilty on one charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization; in addition, Ali had 12 more similar convictions for routing $8,600 to al-Shabaab, and Hassan was convicted on two charges of lying to the FBI.
The charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, while Hassan's convictions of lying to the FBI each carry a maximum sentence of eight 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.