Finland Charges Four with Funding Somalia's Shebab

Finland has accused four people of financing Somalia's Al-Qaida-linked Shebab rebels, the authorities said on Wednesday, the first time the Nordic country has brought terrorism funding charges.

The state prosecutor claims the four sent "several thousand euros" to the terrorist group which has been staging a bloody eight-year insurgency in the war-ravaged east African country.

"The prosecutor believes the four gathered and send the money to Shebab between 2008 and 2011 knowing that the money would be used for terrorist activities," the state vice-prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The four -- whose nationalities were not revealed -- deny the charges. One of them has recently been charged with recruiting insurgents.

Shebab was blamed for an attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall in neighboring Kenya almost exactly a year ago in which at least 67 people died.

Its leader Ahmed Godane was killed in a US air strike on September 1, sparking a retaliatory attack against the African Union force in the country (AMISOM).

More than 10,000 Somalis live in Finland, almost all of whom fled the civil strife that has wracked the country since the 1990s.

Source: Agence France Presse

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