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A former student from the University of Alabama has been sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison for secretly financing terrorism. Alaa Mohd Abusaad, 26, was handed a 90-month prison sentence on Wednesday for concealment of terrorism financing of al-Qaeda.

According to the statement released by the Department of Justice, Abusaad entered a guilty plea to concealing terrorism financing in September 2019. She had secretly funneled funds for material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization between February and April 2018. She had instructed an undercover FBI agent to send money to the mujahideen where she said that money is always needed by the organization.

"You can’t have a war without weapons. You can’t prepare a soldier without equipment.” Abusaad told the agent.

Moreover, she had even advised the agent on the manner to send money so this would avoid detection by authorities. Abusaad instructed the undercover federal employee to use fake names and addresses whenever any electronic money transfers were to be conducted. At a later date, the young female university student finally introduced the agent to a financial facilitator who would then be tasked to route the funds to the al-Qaeda.

Abusaad had been held and detained in the Shelby County Jail since she was arrested in 2018. Her sentence comes with a 10-year supervised release following prison time served. The maximum penalty for charges relating to concealment of terrorism financing is 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. This also includes a supervised release that may run-up to a life term.

Court documents revealed the female Alabama university student was ostracized for being the only Muslim family in a row of housing projects in Tuscaloosa. The defense attorneys argued that Abusaad suffered from mental health issues along with her rough childhood years filled with bullying from other children and a teacher which made her a vulnerable target for predators on the internet.

Her case was investigated by the FBI’s Birmingham, Memphis, and Cleveland Offices with prosecutors coming from the Assitant US Attorneys for the Northern District of Alabama along with the Trial Attorneys of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Representation Image Female Muslim Student hashimpht/ Pixabay

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