A former Orange County cab driver, who was convicted in federal court of providing material support to terrorists in his home country of Somalia, was removed to Mogadishu Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Ahmed Nasir Tahlil Mohamud, 41, formerly of Anaheim Calif., was repatriated on board commercial flights escorted by Los Angeles-based ERO deportation officers as far as Nairobi, Kenya.
After arriving in Nairobi, the deportation officers transferred Mohamud to a non-stop flight bound for Mogadishu and Somali authorities subsequently confirmed his arrival.
In February 2013, Mohamud and three co-conspirators were convicted following a three-week trial of conspiring to provide money to al-Shabaab, a militia group that engages in suicide bombings, targets civilians for assassination, and uses improvised explosive devices.
In February 2008, the U.S. Department of State formally designated al-Shabaab as a foreign terrorist organization.
According to evidence presented during the trial, the government contended Mohamud collected money from donors in Orange County as part of the conspiracy to support al-Shabaab. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court to six years in prison.
“Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States is a privilege,” said David Marin, deputy field office director for ERO Los Angeles.
“ICE will move aggressively against those who engage in actions that could potentially harm those responsible for safeguarding the very freedoms that privilege affords.”
The charges against Mohamud were the result of an investigation by the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the FBI, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Department of Homeland Security databases show Mohamud became a lawful permanent resident in August 2004. In March 2014, ERO officers encountered him at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc and lodged an immigration detainer.
Mohamud entered ICE custody in February following his release from prison and was ordered removed the following month by an immigration judge in Los Angeles.
Nationwide, ICE repatriated 351 individuals in fiscal year 2015 who were classified as high-profile removals – 274 were wanted for crimes committed overseas, often of a very serious or violent nature; 20 were classified as human rights violators; and 54 were considered national security threats.
In many instances, the successful outcome of these high-profile cases is the result of tips provided by private citizens.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives, human rights violators, or individuals who may pose a national security threat are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199.
They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.
ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement, prioritizing its resources to focus on those who pose the greatest threat to national security, border security and public safety, as detailed in this November 2014 directive by the Secretary of Homeland Security.