SAN DIEGO (CN) - Three Somali immigrants on Monday were sentenced to long prison terms for providing material support to the terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Basaaly Saeed Moalin, a cabdriver, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison; Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, an imam at a mosque frequented by Somalis, was sentenced to 13 years; and Issa Doreh, who worked at a money transmitting business that moved the funds, got 10 years.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller, who sentenced the men, told Moalin that his difficult childhood in Somalia and philanthropy in the United States "is substantially offset" by his collaboration with al-Shabaab lead Aden Hashi Ayrow.
"Moalin personally offered the home in Mogadishu to advance the agenda of al-Shabaab and to help hide weapons," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
"This count went beyond financial support and entered into another realm," Judge Miller said at the sentencing.
Prosecutors played for the jury a recorded telephone conversation in which Moalin gave the terrorists in Somalia permission to use his house, telling Ayrow that "after you bury your stuff deep in the ground, you would, then, plant trees on top," according to the U.S. attorney's statement.
Prosecutors said Moalin was offering the terrorists a place to hide weapons.
Ayrow was killed in a missile strike on May 1, 2008.
A fourth defendant, Ahmed Nasiri Taalil Mohamud, an Anaheim cabdriver, will be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2014.
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