Kent woman suspected of funding terrorist group

by: Amy Clancy Updated:


SEATTLE - A Kent woman has been arrested on charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Hinda Osman Dhirane and two other people -- one in Virginia and one in the Netherlands -- were taken into custody simultaneously.

They're accused of helping a foreign terrorist organization that is conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia.

Federal authorities say Dhirane was a leader of an al-Shabaab fundraising conspiracy in the U.S., Kenya, Netherlands and Somalia.

Al-Shabaab merged with Al-Qaeda in 2012.

In federal court Wednesday, Dhirane was ordered held on terrorism charges.

KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy spoke with Dhirane’s husband outside of U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

Clancy asked whether his wife was providing money to terrorists.  Rashid Jama Barhadle replied, “I can’t believe that.”

He described how investigators pounded on his door and scared his six children when the came to arrest Dhirane. He said he went to the court house Wednesday afternoon to see his wife. 

In Dhirane’s neighborhood on Kent’s East Hill, neighbors were stunned. They saw police and FBI agents at the house Wednesday morning at 4 a.m.

“I heard the news, it’s so strange and shocking, “ said neighbor Harjinder Kalsi, whose young children have played with the suspect’s children.

Dhirane’s cousin showed up at her house Wednesday night looking for answers.

“She’s a very nice lady. She’s very nice, good mother. I don’t think so, “ said Halima Ismail about her cousin. 

If convicted, Dhirane could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on each count in the indictment.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.