Women charged with helping al-Qaida-linked group

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Two women have been charged with funneling money to the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria announced the charges Wednesday. The two women, one from Virginia and the other from Washington state, are charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist network. The U.S. designated al-Shabab as a terrorist group in 2008.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Muna Osman Jama of Reston, Virginia, and 44-year-old Hinda Osman Dhirane of Kent, Washington, were arrested in their homes. Jama faced an initial appearance Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

Three others overseas have also been charged. One is in custody in the Netherlands; the other two are fugitives in Kenya and Somalia.

Prosecutors say the women raised money for al-Shabab using code words like "orphans" to refer to al-Shabab fighters.

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