Toronto man in Senegal accused of terror link
Dakar newspapers report probe into alleged financing of al-Shabab
A Toronto man has been jailed in Senegal, allegedly on suspicion of financing terrorist activity, CBC News has learned.
Newspapers in the West African country report Senegalese police are investigating Said Ali Mohamoud for allegedly financing terrorist activity linked to al-Shabab, a Somali organization associated with al-Qaeda.
His wife and children in Toronto say they have been in the dark about his fate since May.
Mohamoud's wife, Muluka, rejects any allegation of a link to terrorist activity and says she has no idea why he would be arrested.
"That's what I want to know," she told CBC News. "I don't know. I don't know why he's in jail."
Foreign Affairs told CBC News in an email that the department was "aware of the detention" and that consular officials in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, are in contact with local authorities. They're also providing assistance "to the individual."
Foreign Affairs told Mohamoud's family that the 52-year-old hasn't been formally charged but that local police are investigating his alleged association with a criminal group.
"I am 100 per cent sure he is not involved in that kind of stuff," Muluka said.
The Somali-born Mohamoud came to Canada in 1987, got married and had five children. He also obtained a university degree, but when he couldn't find a job in Toronto, began working overseas in Dubai and, more recently, in Dakar.
Mohamoud's business card says he is an executive manager with Afifco SA, an Islamic financing company.
He last travelled to Senegal in March, and he regularly called his family and sent money from there. But in May, everything stopped. Family members discovered Mohamoud was in jail and haven't heard from him since.
Mohamoud's younger brother, Osman, has difficulty fathoming the allegation of a connection to al-Qaeda.
"It was a very big shock to me," Osman said, "because he's not the type of person that can [be involved] in organizations like that."
Doesn't agree with al-Qaeda, brother says
Mohamoud was never a supporter of al-Qaeda and believed its activities were wrong, he said.
Osman has not gone to the Canadian government about his brother's case, but he approached the Canadian Somali Congress for help.
Ahmed Hussen, the president, said his group is still gathering information. The allegations against Mohamoud are serious, Hussen said.
"The Senegalese government's assertion is that he is a national security threat to their country," he said. "Our position is that he should be treated fairly, he should receive due process."