Ohio shopping mall terrorism defendant out of prison, facing deportation to Somalia

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins AP Legal Affairs Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Federal immigration authorities are preparing to deport a Somali immigrant who federal prosecutors say plotted to attack an Ohio shopping mall.

Nuradin Abdi (NUR’-uh-din AHB’-dee) completed his prison sentence last month and is in federal immigration custody in Louisiana while final preparations are made to return him to Somalia.

Abdi was one of three friends in Columbus tried on terrorism charges beginning in 2003 in cases that came to epitomize the government’s early efforts to combat domestic terrorism.

The Justice Department accused Abdi of suggesting the plan to bomb or shoot up an unidentified Columbus shopping mall during an August 2002 meeting at a Caribou Coffee shop.

No evidence of an attack was ever found but prosecutors also linked Abdi to multiple calls to suspected terrorists.

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