Former San Diego Resident Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
December 17, 2021 Updated: December 17, 2021

SAN DIEGO—A former San Diego resident pleaded guilty Dec. 17 to federal charges for providing money and other resources to support terrorist activities in Syria.

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi admitted in San Diego federal court to wiring funds to people for the purpose of taking part in terrorism overseas, which prosecutors say included the “killing, kidnapping and maiming of persons.”

Abdullahi worked with several others in these efforts, including Douglas McCain, another former San Diego resident who died in 2014 while fighting for the ISIS terrorist group in Syria, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

McCain’s brother, Marchello McCain, also formerly of San Diego, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on firearms charges and charges of lying to federal agents regarding his assistance to people involved in terrorist activities, including his brother and Abdullahi.

Prosecutors allege that in 2014, Abdullahi robbed a jewelry store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in order to obtain the money to fund Douglas McCain’s travel to Syria. He also encouraged others to commit crimes such as theft in order to collect funds to support terrorist activities, prosecutors allege.

A grand jury returned an indictment charging Abdullahi in 2017 and he was arrested about six months later by Canadian authorities. The indictment alleged that Abdullahi facilitated the travel of at least two American citizens and three Canadians to Syria, where the individuals fought for ISIS and were killed sometime in 2014.

Abdullahi was extradited to the United States in October of 2019. He’s set for an April sentencing hearing in San Diego federal court.