An operative of Al-Shabaab - a Somalia-based al Qaeda-linked terrorist outfit - has been sentenced to nine years and three months in jail on terrorism related charges by a federal court in the US.
"Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed travelled thousands of miles to align himself with al-Shabaab, to aid their campaign of terror and to learn their 'ways of war.' Today, his journey ends in prison and marks the latest victory in our constant effort to protect Americans from terrorism at home and abroad," US Attorney Preet Bharara said after a New York court announced its sentencing yesterday.
Ahmed, 38, a native of Eritrea and a lawful resident of Sweden, was arrested in Nigeria in November 2009.
On March 6, 2010, Ahmed was transferred to the custody of the United States and subsequently transported to the Southern District of New York for prosecution.
According to court documents, al-Shabaab has used violent means to destabilise the government of Somalia and to force the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
The group has recruited foreign fighters to join in its "holy war" in Somalia, resulting in men from other countries, including the US, travelling there to engage in violent jihad.
It was in early 2009, Ahmed left his home in Sweden and travelled to Somalia in order to support and receive military-type training from al-Shabaab.
While in Somalia, Ahmed contributed approximately 3,000 Euros to al-Shabaab, received training and instruction with respect to bomb-making and bomb-detonation, and purchased an AK-47 rifle, additional magazines and two grenades.
Ahmed subsequently provided the rifle and magazines to an al-Shabaab military commander, according to federal agencies.
In 2008, al-Shabaab has been designated by the US as a terrorist group.