In May of 2010, LWJ reported on a terror alert issued to Texas authorities to be on the lookout for Somali men associated with the terror group Shabaab who may have crossed into the US illegally from Mexico.
The most alarming case was that of a Somali immigrant, Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane, who had been accused of operating a human smuggling ring. The operation is said to have facilitated the crossing of hundreds of Somali immigrants into the US, many of whom concern authorities for their potential ties to East African terror networks.
Thursday night, a federal judge in San Antonio sentenced Dhakane to 10 years in prison, after which he will placed under supervised release for three years.
Dhakane pleaded guilty on Nov. 2 to two counts of lying on his asylum application, and the Justice Department said in a statement that he failed to acknowledge he had been a member of, or associated with, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami, from prior to Sept. 11, 2001, until January 2003.
The Justice Department said Dhakane also provided false information concerning his entry into the United States when he claimed he and his wife traveled from Somalia to Mexico via Russia, Cuba, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Instead, the statement said, from June 2006 until March 2008, Dhakane resided in Brazil where he participated in — and later ran — a large-scale human smuggling enterprise.
Despite Dhakane’s denial of sneaking potential terrorists into the country, the San Antonio Express reported, based on a Justice Department memo, that authorities believed Dhakane facilitated the entry of “violent jihadists” into America.
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