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A Tucson couple was arrested Friday after being indicted on charges that they lied to U.S. immigration officials, including false statements about the husband’s connection to a militant Somali group.
Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, 28, and Zeinab Abdirahman Mohamed, 25, were arrested by agents with the FBI and Homeland Security, said Cosme Lopez, an spokesman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They were indicted on a combined 11 counts by a grand jury.
The article goes on to state the following:
The indictment alleges that Osman was recruited by Al-Shabab, a terrorist group in Somalia, and was injured while handling explosives, and lied to U.S. officials to cover up his involvement with the group.
Documents submitted by Osman and Mohammad as part of their refugee application, and a later application for legal permanent residency, contained “false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements,” Lopez said.
The indictment alleges that Osman applied for refugee status in August 2013 with U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services officers in Beijing, China, and used an alias, filing his paperwork under Mustaf Adan Arale, and claimed that he was a citizen of Somalia.
Osman had actually been born in Ethiopia, and had “obtained, and used a passport from the Somali Republic,” the indictment read.
Osman also denied “having a personal acquaintance with anyone who has ever been involved with Al-Shabab, a designated terrorist organization, or any other armed group.”
According to the indictment, which had been sealed by a federal judge until after the arrests, Osman admitted that he had been recruited to join Al-Shabaab and moved from Ethopia to the Somali capital Mogadishu at “the direction of Al-Shabab.”
Below is the press release published Friday by the Department of Justice:
TUCSON, Ariz. – On August 8, 2018, a federal grand jury in Tucson returned an eleven-count indictment against Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, 28, and Zeinab Abdirahman Mohamed, 25, both living in Tucson, Ariz., for violations of false swearing in an immigration matter and false statements to a government agency.
The indictment alleges that Osman and Mohamed, while living in China, applied for and were granted refugee status in 2014. The husband and wife entered the United States and have been living in Tucson since the time of their entry. In June 2015, Osman and Mohamed submitted applications for Legal Permanent Residence Status to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The indictment further alleges that material submitted in support of their refugee applications and their applications for Legal Permanent Residence Status contained false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements. The alleged fraudulent statements included Osman’s true name and nationality and denial of his association with members of a designated terrorist organization. Both defendants were arrested on Aug. 10, 2018.
— Eye on Somalia (@Eye_on_Somalia) August 11, 2018
— Tucson Sentinel (@TucsonSentinel) August 10, 2018
— Terrorism Acts (@Terrorism_Acts) August 11, 2018
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