Twin Cities teen charged with lying to FBI after trying to travel to Middle East


A teenager has been accused with lying to the FBI as part of an investigation into those joining the Islamic State in Syria, after he and three other men from the Twin Cities attempted to board a flight to the Middle East.

Somali-American Hamza Ahmed, 19, was arrested by FBI agents in St. Paul Thursday morning, the Star Tribune reports, and later appeared before a federal court charged with making a false statement in a terrorism investigation.

According to the Associated Press, Ahmed and three other men took a bus from Minneapolis to New York on November 8 with the intention of taking a flight from JFK airport, but they were stopped.

Ahmed is accused of lying to agents about knowing the other men and his travel itinerary, AP reports.

FOX 9 reports that Ahmed was the only one to successfully board the flight to Istanbul in Turkey, which borders Syria, but was removed before it could take off.

The three other men have not been arrested and their identities or whereabouts have not been revealed because of an ongoing investigation, the Star Tribune notes.

The case comes as another Somali who had previously lived in Minnesota, but left to join extremist group al-Shabab in his native country, was released from federal prison.

Abdifatah Yusef Isse, 31, was among the 22 Somali men who have left Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab, WCCO reports, and is now in the custody of U.S. immigration officials.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2013 for providing material support to terrorists, and is now the subject of removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

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