Skip to main content

5 Minnesota terror suspects plead not guilty to more serious charges

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Five Twin Cities men accused of trying to join terrorist fighters in Syria pleaded not guilty Monday to more serious charges of conspiring to commit murder overseas, WCCO reports.

The new charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The men – Hamza Ahmed, Adnan Farah, Guled Omar, Abdirahman Daud and Mohamed Farah – were charged originally with conspiring to aid a terrorist group. But a "superseding indictment" was filed two weeks ago, bringing forward the more serious charges.

That indictment contains new details about their alleged plot to join the Islamic State – describing the men communicating with Islamic State contacts, sharing the phone numbers of contacts in Turkey, and in some cases playing paintball to prepare for combat.

Their trial was scheduled to begin in February, but it's been pushed back to May to give their attorneys more time to prepare, according to MPR News.

Three other men have pleaded guilty this year to conspiring to aid the terrorist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL).

MPR News reports that prosecutors have offered a plea deal to one of the men, Adnan Farah, but he has refused to accept it.

Attorneys for the men say the government's case is weak, since it relies heavily on the testimony of an informant they say is untruthful.

Terrorist recruitment in Minnesota

In announcing indictments against six of the defendants in April, U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger said 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.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken told the paper the Justice Department is making additional funds available to assist in stopping terrorist recruitment in the Twin Cities.

Next Up

Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello scores twice, Wild win third straight

A team effort helped Minnesota dispatch the Ducks.

Rep. Tou Xiong

State lawmaker Tou Xiong apologizes after driving under the influence

The state representative was pulled over on the night of Jan. 8.

St Lukes Duluth GSV Pro

Duluth hospital requiring visitors to show vax proof, neg. test

The health care system is also tightening visitor guidelines.

ridgeview urgent care facebook

Ridgeview halting urgent care at a Twin Cities site 'until further notice'

The organization cited "growing emergency medical needs" at the facility.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

Charges: MN high school counselor sexually assaulted student

The 16-year-old victim had regularly gone to him for academic help and other support, authorities say.

Proctor football

Proctor investigation: Senior charged with sexually assaulting teammate

The criminal charges come after a monthslong review of the allegations.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 9.07.41 PM

Ordway will require vaccinated audience members also be boosted

If someone has not gotten a booster shot, they will have to show a negative COVID test.

Gophers basketball, Williams Arena, Gopher fans

U of M to require vaccine or negative test proof for large events

The policy doesn't go into effect until late-January.

Lauri Anne Deatherage

Man indicted for first-degree murder in ex-wife's death

He's accused of killing her days after she remarried.

Jackknifed semi I-94 Sauk Centre Jesse Grabow

Crashes, spinouts piling up as snow blankets southern MN

Snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

Related