Terror suspect tells judge he is sick, sees ghostsMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab in Somalia asked a judge on Monday to let him out of jail while he awaits trial, saying he has a “sickness of the devil” in which he sees ghosts and needs a spiritual healer.
By: Associated Press, Worthington Daily Globe
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Somali man accused of helping finance fighters for the terror group al-Shabab in Somalia asked a judge on Monday to let him out of jail while he awaits trial, saying he has a “sickness of the devil” in which he sees ghosts and needs a spiritual healer.
Mahamud Said Omar, 46, made the statements during a routine hearing in advance of his trial on terror charges, which starts next week. Omar, who collapsed during a hearing last year, said he is also in pain.
Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis acknowledged he is aware Omar has a history of seeing ghosts and other problems. But he denied Omar’s request, saying the court is making sure he gets the best medical care possible while in custody. He added Omar’s attorneys may submit information on cultural or spiritual healers, and Davis would view their credentials and decide whether they may visit Omar.
Omar has been in custody since 2009, charged as part of the U.S. government’s investigation into the recruitment of at least 21 men who authorities believe left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia, which the U.S. said has ties to al-Qaida.
He faces five counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Omar asked to make a statement as his pretrial hearing was nearing an end Monday.
Through an interpreter, he said he was not feeling well and asked to be released to his family’s house so he could see someone who can “speak to the devil and read Quran,” which is Islam’s holy book. Omar said his medication is not making him feel better.
“This is kind of like a devil,” Omar said through the interpreter. “Even if I pray, I still have pain. When I am sleeping, I wake up with a nightmare.”