CHICAGO — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed a Somali man Thursday who was convicted in 2016 in U.S. District Court of providing aid to a terror organization.
Mahdi Mohammed Hashi, 31, a citizen of Somalia, was removed by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Field Office via an ICE Air Operations charter flight without incident. Once in Somalia, ICE officers transferred custody of Hashi to local authorities.
❞ ICE is committed to removing individuals who threaten not only public safety, but also national security,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony Pham. “This case is a prime example of the work we do to protect the homeland and pursue individuals engaged in supporting terror organizations.
“We are dedicated to our mission of removing individuals who threaten the safety of our communities,” said Thomas Feeley, interim field office director for ERO Chicago. “This case illustrates that the U.S. will actively pursue those individuals engaged in supporting terror organizations. With the help of our federal and international partners, we continue to be vigilant against the threat to our communities.”
From approximately April 2008 to August 2012, Hashi served as a member of al-Shabaab in Somalia. In 2012, he was extradited to the United States to face federal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York. Hashi pleaded guilty to providing material support to al-Shabaab, and on January 29, 2016, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and issued a judicial order of removal. Upon his release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Leavenworth, Kansas, he entered ICE custody April 6, 2020.
High-profile removals include those who are wanted for a crime in another country, such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, drug offenses, alien smuggling, fraud or theft. Others include persons who are national security risks, such as suspected terrorists, those involved in counter-proliferation crimes or those on the terrorist watch list and/or the no-fly list, along with human rights or war crimes violators.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 3,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. In fiscal year 2019, ICE removed or returned 267,000 aliens. ERO arrested 143,000 aliens, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.