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10th Twin Cities man charged with supporting ISIS terror group


An Eagan man was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorist organization known as ISIS; he's the 10th Twin Cities man accused of doing so, according to MPR News.

Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, 20, is accused of helping several of the men who were charged earlier this year in their attempts to go to Syria to fight for ISIS, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Wednesday.

The complaint alleges that Warsame began planning with the other men in April 2014 to travel to Syria, and that he helped them by giving them money to pay for a passport and trying to put them in touch with contacts in Syria, MPR News reports.

Warsame would probably have tried to leave at that time as well, according to the complaint, but his application for a passport was denied.

Warsame did receive one in August, and according to the complaint he told some of the others in April 2015 he planned to travel to Africa with his family, then break free from them and head for Syria or Somalia, the Star Tribune reports. 

Of the nine other men who were charged earlier, three of them have pleaded guilty to conspiring to aid ISIS (also known as ISIL).

Five other men will stand trial in May on enhanced charges of conspiring to commit murder overseas. If convicted, they face a possible sentence of life in prison.

Terrorist recruitment in Minnesota

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in April, when the first six suspects were charged, that Minnesota has a "terror recruiting problem."

In the last decade or so, at least 22 young Somali men left Minnesota to join the terror group al-Shabab in Somali, reports note.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke with the Star Tribune earlier this year about curbing terror recruitment efforts in Minnesota, saying it’s worrisome that despite local and national efforts, Somali-Americans are still heading overseas to fight someone they don’t know.

He said officials will have to be more resourceful to reach youths who are turning to terrorism, to communicate the message that instead of terrorism, things can be more effectively changed by active citizenship.

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