Ohio man accused of providing support for Middle East terror

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2015 4:59 PM

By Kim Palmer

(Reuters) - A judge on Wednesday set bail at $1 million for an Ohio man accused in state charges of providing support and money laundering in support of terror, prosecutors said without identifying the people he was accused of aiding.

Abdirahman S. Mohamud, 23, a Columbus, Ohio, native, was indicted Monday by a Franklin County grand jury on the charges, according to court documents, and prosecutors were seeking for bail to be set as high as $2.5 million.

The formal state charges are "soliciting or providing support for act of terrorism" and "money laundering in support of terrorism."

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said in the bond motion that Mohamud is a flight risk, a danger to the public and has every reason to flee the United States.

"Defendant provided material support and resources or electronic devices to persons engaged in terrorism in the Middle East and has traveled to that area of the world," O'Brien said in his bail motion.

Separately, three men were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to support Islamic State, including two who planned to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of the radical group, U.S. authorities said.

If he can post the bail, Mohamud will be placed on house arrest and required to turn in his passport and driver's license. He is also barred from accessing the Internet or transferring bank funds.

Mohamud's attorney, Sam Shamansky, said his client would not be able to meet the bond and expects his case to be shifted to federal court.

"The county prosecutor working with the U.S. Attorney's office decided to proceed first in state court to detain my client," Shamansky said.

The indictment followed an 18-month FBI investigation into Mohamud, which is continuing and may result in federal terrorism charges, prosecutors said.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by David Bailey, Bernard Orr)