Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Defense calls case against MN terror suspects weak; judge allows it to move forward

Author:

Nearly 200 members of the Somali-American community packed a federal courthouse in St. Paul Thursday in support of a group of young men who they say are wrongly accused of trying to aid the Islamic State militant group in Syria.

Six Minnesotans, ages 19-21, were charged Monday with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization following a 10-month investigation that involved information from a paid confidential informant to the FBI.

At a hearing Thursday for four of the men – Guled Omar, 20; Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19; Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19; and Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19 – a judge ruled the case can move forward, and all four men will be detained until trial, the Star Tribune reports.

The other two men –Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21, and Abdurahman Daud, 21 – face a hearing Friday in San Diego, California, where they were arrested, WCCO says.

The informant

The judge's decision to allow the trial to move forward came despite defense attorneys' argument that the case against the men is weak, relying heavily on information from an untruthful informant, reports note.

The defense questioned the credibility of the informant, noting the informant lied to investigators before deciding to cooperate with FBI in January of this year, The Associated Press reports.

FBI Special Agent Harry Samit testified at the hours-long hearing Thursday, where he said the informant recorded conversations between the group about their alleged plot to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State militant group, MPR News says.

During testimony about the informant, some supporters who believe the suspects were wrongly targeted expressed their disapproval of the informant.

Many supporters passed out fliers or wore T-shirts that read "free our boys," reports say.

Terrorist recruitment in MN

At least nine Minnesotans have now been charged as part of a conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State. The FBI says all of them are suspected associates or friends of one another.

And that's just recently – in the last decade or so, more than 22 young Somali men left Minnesota to join the terror group al-Shabab in Somali, reports note.

These instances are part of what U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger has called Minnesota's ongoing terror recruiting problem.

Following the most recent charges, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke with the Star Tribune 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 told the newspaper 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 Star Tribune Wednesday the Justice Department is making additional funds available to assist in stopping terrorist recruitment in the Twin Cities.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

Related

Defense: Prosecutors played only fraction of calls in terrorism case

A defense attorney for one of two Rochester women accused of funneling money to terrorists in Somalia claims the prosecution is cherry-picking evidence to bolster its case.