The case of a Minnesota man charged with threatening FBI agents on Twitter will go to a federal grand jury for review.
Khaalid Abdulkadir, 19, was charged last week with one count of impeding and retaliating against a federal law enforcement officer.
Authorities say Abdulkadir posted threatening tweets following the arrest of his friend, Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, of Eagan, who was charged with conspiring to help the Islamic State militant group.
One of the tweets, which were posted last Wednesday and taken down Thursday, said: “They will find on the floor body’s dropping fast #kill them FBI,” according to reports.
At a preliminary hearing Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel found there was probable cause to proceed with the case, MPR News reports. A federal grand jury will now decide if Abdulkadir should be formally indicted.
The judge's decision comes despite Abdulkadir's lawyer Chris Madel saying no specific FBI agents or judges were named in the tweets, and that there's no proof his client wrote them, the Star Tribune says.
Madel also suggested his client's alleged tweets were protected by the First Amendment, WCCO notes, saying "There's nothing illegal for a person to say 'f--- the FBI' and 'f--- the U.S. government," according to MPR News.
Abdulkadir had been under FBI surveillance for more than a year prior to his arrest on Friday and his social media conversations were being monitored, MPR News reported. The criminal complaint against him says he had also been in contact with two other former Minneapolis men who authorities believe have become online recruiters for the terror group, reports say.
Abdulkadir will remain in jail until at least Monday, when a hearing to decide if he should remain in custody as the case moves forward will be continued, Noel decided, reports note.
If convicted, Abdulkadir could face 10 years in prison, WCCO notes.