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African man tied to Somali terror group pleads guilty

By Leigh Remizowski, CNN
updated 8:41 PM EDT, Wed June 13, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eritrean national accused of getting terror training in Somalia
  • Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, 38, traveled from his home in Sweden
  • He faces up to 10 years in prison

New York (CNN) -- A man from the Horn of Africa has pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked terror organization, and traveling to Somalia to receive military training from the group, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, a 38-year-old resident of Sweden originally from Eritrea, was arrested in Nigeria in 2009 after authorities say he traveled to Somalia to undergo bomb-making and bomb-detonation training from members of al-Shabaab, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan.

Ahmed pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to provide material support to and receive military-type training from al-Shabaab, authorities said.

While he was in Somalia, Ahmed paid €3,000 to al-Shabaab and gave an AK-47 rifle and magazines to a military commander in the group, according to court documents.

"Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed traveled a long way from his home in Sweden to Somalia, where he took up the cause of al-Shabaab, a deadly terrorist organization," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.

In March 2010, Ahmed was transferred to the United States to be prosecuted.

"This plea is important to the ongoing efforts by the NYPD and federal partners to deter terrorist organizations and their followers who continue in their attempts to put New York City and the United States at risk," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in the statement.

Ahmed faces up to 10 years in prison. He will be sentenced in November.

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