|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
|U.S. Prosecutors Want To Hold Somali-Born Canadian|
Minneapolis, Feb. 9, 2004 (AP) — Prosecutors argued in court on Monday that a man accused of providing support to the al-Qaeda terrorist network should remain in jail because he's a flight risk.
Mohamed Warsame, a Canadian who was arrested in Minneapolis in December, had been willing to leave the United States in the past and might do so if released from custody, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ward said.
Mr. Ward said Mr. Warsame visited two al-Qaeda training camps over two years in Afghanistan starting in March 2000. While there, he trained in martial arts and with weapons, Mr. Ward said, referring to Mr. Warsame's statements to investigators.
In fact, Mr. Ward said, Mr. Warsame admitted meeting Osama bin Laden at one of the camps and called him inspirational. Mr. Warsame told investigators that in early 2001 he asked the group for money to move his family to Afghanistan.
According to an affidavit from FBI special agent Kiann Vandenover, an al-Qaeda leader instead paid for Mr. Warsame's airplane ticket back to North America, and gave him $1,700 (U.S.) in travel money.
Public defender Dan Scott argued that Mr. Warsame has deep ties to Minnesota through his wife and five-year-old daughter. He said Mr. Warsame should be released because he has been held in solitary since his arrest, with no telephone calls, books or religious materials.
Mr. Warsame was also formally arraigned Monday on the lone charge of providing support to a terrorist organization. In a quiet voice, he pleaded not guilty. Other than that, he did not speak at the hearing.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel didn't immediately rule on whether Mr. Warsame should remain in jail.
Mr. Warsame, 30, is a Somali-born Canadian citizen who has been living in Minnesota since 2002. He was attending community college at the time of his arrest.