, WASHINGTON, United States, Apr 1 — Two women from an international ring that raised money via small monthly payments for the Shabaab Islamist group in Somalia were dealt stiff prison sentences in Virginia Friday for their roles.
Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston, Virginia, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Washington, were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years in prison, respectively, for providing material support to Shabaab, which the US designates a foreign terrorist organization.
They were part of what prosecutors called the “Gang of 15” women in the United States, Kenya, Egypt, Netherlands, Sweden and other countries who collected and transmitted funds to support the jihadist group.
Jama, according to the Justice department, organized regular online chats for the group.
Evidence from phone calls recorded by US investigators meanwhile showed they had “close connections” with the Shabaab leadership, according to a statement.
For the two women, US authorities documented monthly payments over a year and a half for the group, often just $100 at a time. The total reported was $3,600.
They were arrested in 2014 and convicted in a northern Virginia federal district court last October.
Meanwhile, the US Justice Department announced Friday the arrest of a South Carolina man, Zakaryia Abdin, 18, who allegedly intended to travel abroad to join the Islamic State group.
Abdin was arrested late Thursday at Charleston International Airport as he prepared to board a flight.
Abdin, whose family is from Syria according to local media reports, was charged in federal court Friday for attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation.