Four Finns of Somali origin face prosecution in Finland for allegedly financing terrorism, local media reported Wednesday.
Finnish prosecutors said the four collected funds and sent them to Al-Shabab in East Africa. The sums collected between January 2008 and January 2011 amounted to several thousand Euros.
Their trial is to begin in October and will be the first terrorism-related court case in Finland. The prosecution is seeking imprisonment on probation.
One of the persons will also face charges of enlisting a person to commit an act of terrorism and of preparing a crime involving the intention of terrorism.
The suspects denied the charges during police investigations. They have all lived in Finland for a long time.
State Prosecutor Juha-Mikko Hamalainen told national radio that the sums as such are small, but they should be viewed against the backdrop of the personal wealth of the suspects and the value of the euro in East Africa.
The activities were uncovered after investigations by the Finnish Security Police.
News agency STT adds: This is the first time in the country in which terrorism charges have been filed before the court.
Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske said the four are suspected to have raised funds estimated to be thousands of Euros in aid of the Al-Shabab terrorist group operating in East Africa.
In addition, one is accused of recruiting a relative who had been freed from a jail in Africa to join the terrorist group. Furthermore, the same person is suspected to have planned to abduct two teenagers from Finland and send them to a terrorism camp against their will.
The charges were framed with the Helsinki District Court.
The investigations were focussed on six individuals, but no charges were raised against the remaining two suspects.
The intelligence service-Supo first raised the suspicions about the activities of the men and afterwards the National Bureau of Investigation launched the preliminary investigations.