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Minn. man charged with helping al-Qaida

A Minneapolis man has been charged with conspiracy to support the al-Qaida terrorist network.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charged a Minnesota man with conspiracy to support to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, 30, a Canadian citizen of Somali descent, was charged in an indictment returned Tuesday by a grand jury in Minneapolis.

The indictment alleges that from March 2000 through last December, Warsame conspired to provide material support and resources for al-Qaida. No further details about the charges were immediately available.

“The charge against Warsame is a grim reminder that al-Qaida, aided by agents and cells in this country, continues its shadowy efforts to destroy the lives and freedoms of the people in the United States,” Attorney General John Ashcroft said.

Purported link to Moussaoui
News reports have linked Warsame to terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui, who is the subject of the only U.S. prosecution related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Moussaoui also was arrested in Minnesota and now awaits trial in Virginia on federal conspiracy charges.

Federal officials have refused to address reports of connection between Warsame and Moussaoui, whom their statement to the media Wednesday did not mention.

Moussaoui was arrested while learning to fly a Boeing 747 at a Minnesota flight simulator school two years ago.

Warsame was a student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. His arrest and the secrecy surrounding it have been a subject of concern in the local Somali community, which numbers an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 and is believed to be the largest in the United States.

The indictment was unsealed after Warsame appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday. Warsame was held without bond pending his return to Minneapolis, prosecutors said.

Warsame was flown from Minneapolis to New York in late December, but it was not known why the move occurred.

Attorney Sam Tokin, who represented Warsame on Wednesday, said his client did not enter a plea and would be arraigned in Minneapolis. He would not detail the allegations against Warsame.