Efforts to raise "one dollar a day per man" in support of al Shabaab militants fighting African Union forces in Somalia have led to a recently unsealed indictment charging three California men with conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group.
The San Diego residents, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, and Issa Doreh, reportedly coordinated with now-deceased al Shabaab leader Aden Hashi Ayrow to send approximately $10,000 from the United States to Somalia. Explaining that the militants were in desperate need of money, Ayrow told Moalin that "it is time to finance the jihad."
In addition to the financial support, Moalin allegedly maintained a house in Somalia from which al Shabaab planned and carried out attacks.
Al Shabaab was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on February 26, 2008 for its use of "harassment and targeted assassinations of civilians, improvised explosive devices, rockets, mortars, automatic weapons, suicide bombings, and general tactics of intimidation and violence." Since that designation, the group has continued to undertake terrorist acts, most notably the July, 2010 suicide bombing during a World Cup viewing party that killed 74 people in Uganda.
American involvement with the Somali-based terrorist organization is not new. Daphne, Alabama native Omar Hammami, better known as Abu Mansour al-Amriki, currently serves as a top operational commander within al Shabaab.
The group has also received substantial support in the form of money and fighters from the United States. A recent nation-wide investigation resulted in the indictment of 14 individuals from Minnesota, Alabama, and California for their support of al Shabaab. The case "shed further light on a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and fighters to al Shabaab from cities across the United States," said Attorney General Eric Holder following those arrests.