MINNEAPOLIS – Forty-three-year-old Minnesotan Amina Mohamud Esse was sentenced to five years’ probation Wednesday after aiding efforts for the group Al-Shabab.
Esse admitted to sending $850 to the group in a series of small payments, which was revealed after her plea agreement was unsealed. In 2008, Al-Shabab was designated a terrorist group by the United States. In 2012, leaders of Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda announced that the two groups were merging.
The Star Tribune reports Esse plead guilty three years ago to conspiring to send money to the Somali terrorist group. Esse faced 15 years in prison, but cooperated with the federal government to reduce her punishment.
As Alpha News previously reported, Esse aided the federal government in 2016 in a case against a network of women who had sent thousands of dollars to an overseas terrorist organization. Esse assisted in the case by submitting chat logs discussing recruiting and fundraising for a terrorist organization with Muna Osman Jama and Hinda Osman Dhirane.
Due to her cooperation, prosecutors recommended probation due to Esse’s level of cooperation, reports the St. Cloud Times, explaining that this case was the first time prosecutors recommended probation in a Minnesota terror case.
Esse was put on probation and banned from traveling outside of Minnesota in exchange for her guilty plea and for providing information against the other women, according to court records. She was also required to submit to a mental health evaluation.
According to the Star Tribune, Esse is working as a personal care attendant while raising three children in Minneapolis. She is still under refugee status.
Esse’s attorney, Robert Sicoli said in a statement that Esse, “has been shunned both by her family and some segments of the broader Somali community because of her cooperation.”
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