Feb 22 - Four Somali immigrants, including a popular imam at a San Diego-area mosque, were convicted by a US federal jury on Friday of conspiring to provide material support to an al Qaeda-linked Islamist militia in the Horn of Africa nation.
The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California said that the men - the imam, two cab drivers and an employee at a money transmitting business - had conspired to raise and send money to Somali al Shabaab rebels.Al Shabaab militants want to impose a strict version of Islamic law in war-ravaged Somalia, but have lost significant territory in the southern and central parts of the country in the face of an offensive by African Union troops.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the men conspired to transfer funds from San Diego to Somalia through the Shidaal Express, a now-defunct money transmitting business in San Diego.
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