Trial begins for alleged al-Shabaab supporter

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By Sarah Barchus

The jurors were chosen Monday for the trial of a 46-year-old Minnesota man accused of funding U.S. citizens to join a Somalian terrorist group's fight, the Star Tribune reported.

Ten woman and six men, including a pharmacist, an X-ray technician for the Mayo Clinic and an unemployed psychology graduate, comprise the jury for Mahamud Said Omar's trial that begins Tuesday and that Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis warned could last a month, the Pioneer Press reported.

Omar is charged with five terror-related federal counts, and is accused of aiding the al-Qaida related Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab, the Star Tribune reported.

Prosecutors say Omar supported the group from September 2007 to August 2008 by encouraging and helping pay for men to leave the Twin Cities and join al-Shabaab's fight against Somalia's government at that time, the Pioneer Press reported.

During the selection process, defense attorney Andrew Birrell told jurors that some of the evidence could make them angry and want to convict someone. When asked, all of the jurors said they could remain unbiased, the Pioneer Press reported.

The first witness called to testify will be the head of the group monitoring the U.N.'s arms embargo for Somalia, the Pioneer Press reported.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on October 2, 2012 8:00 AM.

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