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Swedish Resident Charged with Terrorism in US Court

al-Shabab fighters training in Mogadishu

An Ethiopian man living permanently in Sweden has been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts by a court in New York. According to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, he was captured in the end of November in Nigeria, and was later moved to a United States prison on Saturday.

The New York Times reports that he is suspected of financing al-Shabab, a Somali terrorist organization that has connections to Al-Qaeda. He is also said to have received military training in an al-Shabab camp, learning how to construct explosive charges.

Sabrina Schroff, the man’s lawyer in the United States, says that the Ethiopian native denies all the accusations. The New York Times identifies him as Eritrean, but the Swedish Foreign Minister holds that he is originally from Ethiopia.

Anders Jörle at the Ministry confirms the rest of the newspaper’s report, however. He told news agency TT that the man has been visited by embassy personnel two times while in prison in Nigeria, where he was initially charged with being in the country illegally and trying to obtain a false identity.

As he holds a permanent Swedish residence permit, the suspected terrorist has a right to consular help from Sweden while on trial in New York, but the Foreign Ministry says that he has yet to receive such a visit.

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