The San Diego trial of four Somali men charged with sending money and support to the terrorist group al-Shabaab is scheduled to begin in federal court this month.
A federal grand jury indicted the men in 2010 on charges of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and money laundering.
They have all pleaded not guilty. The men are accused of funneling about $8,000 raised in San Diego’s Somali immigrant community to al-Shabaab fighters in 2008.
The defendants are Basaaly Saeed Moalin, a cabdriver; Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, the imam of a City Heights mosque; Issa Doreh, former president of a nonprofit group aiding the Somali community; and Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud of Anaheim.
The men are being represented by lawyers from around the country who were recruited by a legal foundation that since 2001 has raised money to represent Muslims accused of crimes in federal and state courts.
The defense is expected to argue that the money the men sent was not intended to fund terrorism but was for various charitable purposes.