6 Amer­i­cans charged with trav­el­ing to Syria to try to join Is­lamic State


Six Min­nesotans have been charged with ter­ror­ism in a crim­i­nal com­plaint un­sealed Mon­day, the lat­est Western­ers ac­cused of trav­el­ing or at­tempt­ing to travel to Syria to join the Is­lamic State group, fed­eral au­thor­i­ties said.

The six, whom au­thor­i­ties de­scribed as friends who met se­cretly to plan their trav­els, are ac­cused of con­spir­acy to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port and at­tempt­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to a for­eign ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion. The com­plaint says the men planned to reach Syria by fly­ing to nearby coun­tries from Min­neapo­lis, San Diego or New York City, and lied to fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors when they were stopped.

Charged are broth­ers Mo­hamed Ab­di­hamid Farah, 21, and Ad­nan Ab­di­hamid Farah, 19; Ab­du­rah­man Yasin Daud, 21; Zacharia Yusuf Ab­du­rah­man, 19; Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19; and Guled Ali Omar, 20. All are So­mali-Amer­i­cans, au­thor­i­ties said.”

Th­ese were fo­cused men who were in­tent on join­ing a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Min­nesota U.S. At­tor­ney Andy Luger said at a news con­fer­ence Mon­day.

The six were ar­rested Sun­day in Min­neapo­lis and San Diego and are sched­uled to make ini­tial ap­pear­ances in fed­eral court on Mon­day.

They are the lat­est peo­ple from Min­nesota to be charged in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion stretch­ing back months into the re­cruit­ment of Western­ers by IS. Au­thor­i­ties said ear­lier that a hand­ful of Min­nesota res­i­dents have trav­eled to Syria to fight with mil­i­tants in the past year, and at least one has died.

The Min­neapo­lis area is home to the largest con­cen­tra­tion of So­mali im­mi­grants in the U.S. Since 2007, more than 22 young So­mali men have also trav­eled from Min­nesota to So­ma­lia to join the mil­i­tant group al-Shabab.

Omar’s older brother, Ahmed Ali Omar, was among those who joined al-Shabab, leav­ing Min­nesota in De­cem­ber 2007, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint. Ahmed Omar re­mains a fugi­tive. It also said when agents went to the younger Omar’s house af­ter he was stopped in San Diego in Novem­ber, an­other brother, Mo­hamed Ali Omar, threat­ened them.

Three of those charged in the new­est com­plaint — Mo­hamed Farah, Ab­du­rah­man and Musse — were stopped at a New York City air­port in Novem­ber along with 19-year-old Hamza Ahmed, but they were not charged un­til now.

Ahmed was in­dicted on charges of ly­ing to the FBI dur­ing a ter­ror­ism in­ves­ti­ga­tion, con­spir­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to IS, and at­tempt­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port. He has pleaded not guilty.

De­spite be­ing stopped al­ready, Luger said, the three oth­ers con­tin­ued to try to get to Syria to join IS “by any means pos­si­ble.”

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