updated 11/23/2009 4:01:20 PM ET 2009-11-23T21:01:20

Federal prosecutors have announced charges against eight more people as part of a long-running investigation of young men who left the United States to fight in Somalia.

As many as 20 young Somali men have left Minnesota over the last two years for Somalia and are believed to have joined the Somali terror group al-Shabab. At least three have died.

The charges unsealed Monday in Minneapolis include allegations that the men provided financial support to those who traveled to the East African country to fight on behalf of al-Shabab. The charges also allege that they attended al-Shabab terrorist training camps and fought on behalf of al-Shabab.

One of the eight named Monday is Mohamud Said Omar, who is currently being held in the Netherlands.

Seven people already face charges in the case. The long-running FBI investigation of al-Shabab recruiting and possible financial ties to the United States has spread beyond Minnesota to California, Ohio and Massachusetts.

FBI Director Robert Mueller has said the case is worrisome because it shows young men raised in the United States can be recruited by terrorists overseas, trained to conduct attacks and in some cases killed in the fighting there.

Earlier this month, charges were filed against 24-year-old Omer Abdi Mohamed accusing him of providing material support to terrorists.

The indictment says that as part of the conspiracy, Mohamed — also known as Brother Omer or Galeyr — helped some of the men travel to Somalia.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a socialist dictator and then turned on each other, causing chaos in the African nation of 7 million.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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