Skip to main content

Mpls. man pleads guilty to Islamic State link, says he was taken in by propaganda

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A young Twin Cities man who has pleaded guilty to attempting to join the Islamic State in Syria said he saw them as "freedom fighters" and believed the extremist group's propaganda.

WCCO reports 19-year-old Hanad Musse told a federal court during a "change of plea" hearing Wednesday morning he wanted to "protect the people of Syria and Iraq and form an Islamic State."

"I committed a terrorist act, and I’m guilty of it," he told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, according to the Star Tribune.

He is one of seven Twin Cities men held on charges of attempting to join the Islamic State, and one of six arrested by FBI agents in April while trying to leave the country.

During the hearing, Musse said he spoke "only for myself," but did admit he was involved in a larger conspiracy when some of his co-defendants names were read out, the Star Tribune adds.

FOX 9 reports Musse said he initially saw IS as "freedom fighters," as he pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and misusing federal student loans to buy a plane ticket.

The TV station said Musse used the loan money to try to fly to Greece, and made a second attempt to leave the U.S. for Syria by flying via Mexico.

He faces up to 15 years in prison, WCCO notes, adding two of his co-conspirators are also considering changing their pleas.

According to MPR News' Mukhtar Ibrahim, Musse was born in St. Louis Park and was a full-time student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College living with his father, a federal government employee.

On Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger is expected to reveal a new series of youth programs aimed at Minnesota's Somali community designed to divert them from recruitment and radicalization by overseas extremists, MPR News reports.

The Washington Post has put together a map based on where people suspected of aiding or trying to join the Islamic State were arrested – with Minneapolis having nine cases pending, and one convicted – second only to New York.

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.

ambulance

Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

ambulance

2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Related