Two Minnesota women, Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, accused of funneling money to a terror group in Somalia, talked about collecting money for al-Shabab, supporting fighters instead of other charities and the possibility that FBI was listening in on their conversations, according to hours of recorded phone calls played for jurors.
The calls include recordings of teleconferences in which the women gave religious lectures and collected donations.
The two women are accused of being part of a “deadly pipeline” that routed money and fighters from the U.S. to Somalia. The women, U.S. citizens of Somali descent, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The women have said they were raising money for needy refugees in Somalia.
In one October 2008 call between Ali and Hassan, prosecutors allege that as the two women were discussing where the money should go, Ali said the priority be those who stand up for Islam. “Let the civilians die,” she said. In a Feb. 10, 2009, teleconference, Ali told others, “Let’s forget about the other charities — how about the jihad?”
In some of the calls, the women tell others how to send funds to Somalia. They give fictitious names and the numbers of al-Shabab accounts to those who will be sending the money, and talk about sending it in small amounts to avoid detection.
In one call, they explain that they will not get a license for their charity because they doesn’t want to report where the money is going because they don’t want to lie to Allah.
In one call , dated May 6, 2009, they talk about sending girls out to collect money in Seattle, North Carolina, and elsewhere.
In a teleconference on Feb. 10, 2009, an unidentified man asks who the fundraising is for. The reply: “Brother, whom do you want to give it to? The orphans, the poor … the Mujahidin (holy warriors)? Actually, jihad is your duty brother. What are you going to pledge?”