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Case of Mahamud Said Omar goes to jury

By staff

Minneapolis, MN – The case of Mahamud Said Omar went to the jury, Oct. 17, with prosecution and defense attorneys making their concluding arguments. Given the prosecution never made a case against Omar, the defense rested without calling any witnesses. Omar is accused of helping the Somali resistance group al Shabab.

Many of the prosecution witnesses rarely mentioned Omar. Instead they concentrated on trying to criminalize the resistance to the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia.

Abdifatah Yusuf Isse testified against Omar. Isse admitted he was facing a life sentence for ‘terrorism’ charges, and had made a plea agreement which includes a promise to provide the prosecution with “substantial assistance.” This means that that the sentence that Isse ultimately gets is based on how well he does in testifying against others in the Somali community.

Joint Terrorism Task Force officer Martin Siebenaler testified against Omar. Siebenaler opened up a gun case and pulled out an AK-47 machine gun. Siebenaler then proceeded to say that the gun, which came from an ATF collection, was “most similar to” the weapons used by young resistance fighters in Somalia. The gun had nothing to do with the case. It was an attempt to bias the jury.

Kamal Said Hassan, a man who admits to lying during other federal court proceedings, also testified.

A number of the prosecution witnesses in the trial were connected to the Sept. 24, 2010 FBI raids on Midwest anti-war and international solidarity activists.

Mick Kelly, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression states, “What the government proved is that they have no case. In essence the FBI admits they mistreated Omar, when they placed a sack over his head, and later interrogated him while he was ill. The real crime here is that Omar is sitting in jail and on trial. He has done nothing wrong.”

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