Federal authorities announced that a secret cell of al-Qaida terrorists plotted to bring “death and destruction” to Columbus by blowing up a shopping mall. An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Columbus said Somali immigrant Nuradin Abdi and admitted al-Qaida member Iyman Faris plotted with a third Columbus man to bring down a mall, perhaps during the Christmas season. Abdi was later sentenced to 10 years in prison and Faris to 20 years.
Christopher Paul, a Worthington man accused of plotting to help al-Qaida, pleaded guilty to conspiring with terrorists to use weapons of mass destruction in Europe and the United States. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2009.
A Somali man living in Franklin County was arrested by FBI agents after he was charged in Minnesota with providing money and other assistance to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab, which has been linked to al-Qaida. Ahmed Hussein Mahamud, 26, who had moved to the Westerville area that year, appeared in federal court in Columbus and was transferred to Minnesota to face charges there.
Abdirahman S. Mohamud, 23, was arrested at his home on the West Side and charged with supporting Middle Eastern terrorists through money laundering and providing resources. His trial is scheduled for July 2017 in Franklin County Common Pleas Courts.
Four Ohio men, including three former Ohio State University students — one a current Columbus resident — were charged with raising cash for a terrorist in Yemen. The men indicted are two sets of brothers: Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 37, and Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36; and Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and Sultane Roome Salim, 40. Their cases are pending.
Mohamed Barry attacked patrons in the Nazareth Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant on the Far Northeast Side with a machete, wounding four. At the time, FBI agents said there was no indication that Barry was working with anyone, or being directed by someone. But they said that Barry, 30, who was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer, had been on a watch list for “espousing extremist views.” Agents didn’t use the words “terrorism” or “terrorist” then, but this week, Columbus Police Deputy Chief Michael Woods, who oversees the division’s homeland security unit, compared Barry’s attack to Monday’s attack at Ohio State University as a potential act of terrorism.
Two siblings who were honor-roll students at Metro Early College High School on the Northwest Side abandoned their lives here and joined ISIS, with the younger brother killed in Syria. The two, from Reynoldsburg, were Rasel Raihan, 20, and his older sister, Zakia Nasrin, 24. Nasrin had graduated as a valedictorian from Metro in 2010 and reportedly recruited her brother to the Islamic State after she married a man she met online who belongs to the terrorist organization and they moved to Syria.
Aaron T. Daniels was ordered held without bond after authorities say he provided material support to a foreign terrorist group. Daniels, 20, of the Northeast Side, was arrested at John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Federal agents said he intended to fly to Libya to fight for the Islamic State. He also sent $250 to a known intermediary of ISIS recruiter Abu Isa Al-Amriki in January, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
Source: Columbus Dispatch archives