The Arizona Daily Star,
Sunday August 12, 2018
A refugee couple in Tucson were arrested by authorities and are facing numerous charges of falsifying immigration documents, including lying to federal officials about the husband’s involvement with an African terrorist organization, officials said Friday.The indictment states Osman gave false information about his name and nationality, telling immigration authorities he was from Somalia, when in fact he was from Ethiopia.
Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, 28, is facing eight counts of supplying false information on immigration documents, and his wife, Zeinab Abdirahman Mohamed, 25, is facing three counts of providing false information in support of Osman as they sought refugee status in 2013 while living in China and permanent residency in 2015 while living in Tucson, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court.
He also denied being associated with a terrorist organization. The
indictment states Osman later admitted that he was recruited to join the
terrorist group al-Shabab and had moved from Jijiga to Mogadishu,
Somalia, at the direction of the terrorist group. He also later admitted
to knowing several members of the al-Shabab organization.
Prosecutors allege Osman also lied to an immigration officer about
being injured in a bomb blast in a Somali market in 2010. The indictment
said he was injured in 2009 while handling explosives.
Al-Shabab is an Islamic militant group operating primarily in Somalia
and has ties to al-Qaida. It is responsible for a string of terrorist
attacks on civilians, governments and military personnel in countries
such as Somalia, Kenya and elsewhere, and has been designated a foreign
terrorist organization by the United States.
The husband and wife first applied for refugee status to the United
States while living in China. Their request was accepted and they have
lived in Tucson since, the news release said.
Authorities arrested the two Friday. The investigation was handled by
the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security through the Joint
Terrorism Task Force.