NEW YORK (CN) – An Eritrean man faces charges of funding and training for jihad with al Shabaab, considered by the United States to be one of the most active extremists targeting Somalia and its weak government. Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed was brought to the United States over the weekend, and is expected to plead not guilty in Manhattan on Tuesday.
According to the four-count indictment against him, Ahmed has been helping al Shabaab since 2008.
Officials say he traveled to Kismayo, Somalia, in April 2009 to receive jihad training, and gave Al Shabaab approximately 1,000 euros. He also traveled to Barawa, Somalia, for jihad and bomb-making training, and gave Al Shabaab 2,000 euros, according to the indictment.
“Al Shabaab has relied on violence – targeted assassinations of civilians and journalists, and the use of improvised explosive devices, rockets, mortars and automatic weapons – to undermine the Somali government, quell the Somali population and force the withdrawal of troops,” according to the indictment.
The group’s goal, according to the indictment, is the imposition of Sharia, or strict Islamic law, throughout Somalia.
The United States designated it a foreign terrorist organization in 2008.