Two Virginia Women Convicted of Terror-Tied Crimes

Two women in Virginia were convicted this week for providing material support to the terror group al-Shabaab – and this, just a day after a Virginia man pleaded guilty in a separate case of aiding and abetting a fellow Muslim make his way overseas to aid ISIS in its fight against the U.S. military.

What’s going on that makes Virginia such a hotspot for terror activity?

This, from Alexandria News:

“Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston, Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Washington, were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization after a bench trial in front of U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

“‘Providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a very serious crime,’ said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. ‘These women funneled money to a terrorist organization which was conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia. National security is the top priority in this office and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists.’

“‘In addition to money they transferred in direct support of al-Shabaab, these subjects recruited, solicited, and advised an online group located in multiple countries as to how and where to transfer funds to this terrorist organization,’ said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. ‘In coordination of the group, these subjects would then track and facilitate donations to ensure the money was received by their co-conspirators located in Nairobi and Somaliland. Today’s guilty verdicts send a message that facilitation of financial support to a designated terrorist organization equates to terrorist activity itself.'”

Evidence presented in court indicate Jama and Dhirane sent money to individuals in Somalia and Kenya to fund al-Shabaab.

More from Alexandria News:

“Jama and Dhirane sent money to financiers of al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, which they referred to respectively as the ‘Hargeisa side’ and the ‘Nairobi side.’ The defendants also organized what was called a ‘Group of Fifteen,’ which included women from Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as Minneapolis, Minnesota. The ‘Group of Fifteen’ met regularly in a private chatroom that Jama established to organize and track monthly payment of money to the “Hargeisa side,” which was used to finance al-Shabaab military operations in the Golis Mountains in northern Somalia, and the ‘Nairobi side,’ which was used to fund two al-Shabaab safehouses. One of the safehouses was used by al-Shabaab to store weapons and to prepare for attacks. The other was used to treat al-Shabaab fighters who had been wounded in battle.”

Court evidence included tape recordings of the telephone calls and conversations among “Group of Fifteen” members. And in one particularly notable call, Jama and Dhirane were captured laughing at the violence and bloody assaults at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, the news outlet reported.

Alexandria News reports:

“Dhirane and co-conspirator were also recorded as they laughed at the Boston Marathon Bombing before it became known who committed the attack.”

Both Jama and Dhirane face up to 15 years in prison. They’re due to be sentenced on January 19, 2017.

Their trial and conviction comes just after Woodbridge, Virginia, Muslim Mahmoud Elhassan, a taxi driver, pleaded guilty to trying to help a friend who wanted to travel overseas and fight for ISIS.

The plot, as previously reported, included discussion of “chopping off heads” and battling against members of the U.S. military.