Federal prosecutors in San Diego have charged a woman with providing material support to the Somali terrorist organization al Shabaab.
Nima Ali Yusuf was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and lying to federal investigators investigating the case. According to the indictment, Yusuf provided money and personnel to al Shabaab. When questioned by agents from the FBI and the Customs and Border Patrol, Yusuf reportedly denied having sent any money to Somalia in the past year.
Yusuf appeared in federal court Monday for an arraignment. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to determine whether she should be granted bail.
Yusuf's arrest is only the most recent in a string of prosecutions aimed at dismantling the U.S. support structure for al Shabaab. The militant group was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on Feb. 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 carry out terrorist acts, most notably the July, 2010 suicide bombing during a World Cup viewing party that killed 74 people in Uganda.
The charges against Yusuf carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.