U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
April 20, 2015

Six Minnesota Men Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger, FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Minneapolis Division Richard T. Thornton, and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin today announced a criminal complaint charging six Minnesota men with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).1 ZACHARIA YUSUF ABDURAHMAN, 19; ADNAN FARAH, 19; HANAD MUSTAFE MUSSE, 19; and GULED ALI OMAR, 20, were arrested yesterday in Minneapolis. ABDIRAHMAN YASIN DAUD, 21, and MOHAMED ABDIHAMID FARAH, 21, were arrested yesterday in San Diego, California.

“As described in the criminal complaint, these men worked over the course of the last 10 months to join ISIL,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “Even when their co-conspirators were caught and charged, they continued to seek new and creative ways to leave Minnesota to fight for a terror group. I applaud the hard work and tireless efforts of the FBI Minneapolis Division and their colleagues around the country.”

“Preventing acts of terrorism is the FBI’s highest priority,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thornton. “Disrupting individuals from traveling to join and fight for ISIL is an important part of our counter terrorism strategy. As a result of this investigation and arrests, these six Minnesota men who planned to travel and fight for ISIL will answer these charges in U.S. District Court instead of taking up arms in Syria. The FBI remains committed to ending both recruitment efforts and travel on the part of young people from Minnesota to fight overseas on behalf of terror groups. These arrests today signify this continued commitment.”

“The six defendants charged in the complaint allegedly planned to travel to Syria as part of their conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “One of the National Security Division’s highest priorities is to identify, disrupt, and hold accountable those who provide or attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations. I would like to thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this investigation and the charges in this case.”

“I want to commend the work of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force who worked countless hours in support of our law enforcement partners in Minnesota,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy. “We are satisfied that because of these arrests, we have furthered our mission to safeguard national security by preventing individuals from joining ISIL, a foreign terrorist organization that threatens to induce our youth into committing violence against foreigners and U.S. citizens alike.”

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, for the last ten months, the Minneapolis Division of the FBI has been conducting an investigation into a group of individuals who have tried to join—and in some cases succeeded in joining—overseas designated foreign terrorist organizations. At least nine Minnesotans have now been charged as part of this conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL. The men are all associates and friends of one another. Among the co-conspirators are ABDULLAHI YUSUF and ABDI NUR, both of whom were originally charged by criminal complaint in November 2014, and HAMZA AHMED, who was indicted in February 2015.

ABDI NUR boarded a flight on May 29, 2014, bound for Turkey and has not returned to the United States. He called a relative on June 6, 2014, from a telephone number bearing the country code for Turkey, “90”. NUR told his relative that he had reached his destination and that he would not be calling again. This same telephone number was used three weeks later by another man who traveled from the Twin Cities to Syria to join ISIL.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, on June 3, 2014, a person identified in court documents as Y.J., purchased both a round-trip ticket from JFK International Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, and a bus ticket from Minneapolis to New York. He departed JFK on June 9, 2014, for Istanbul. He has not returned to the United States. On June 25, 2014, Y.J. called a family member, also using the same Turkish telephone number referenced previously.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, OMAR tried to travel on November 6, 2014, on a flight from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to San Diego, California. Before he could board the flight, OMAR was stopped at the airport in Minnesota and not allowed to board. OMAR had planned previously to leave the United States in May 2014 to join ISIL, but later abandoned his immediate plans to travel after being confronted by his family.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, between November 6 and November 8, 2014, M. FARAH, MUSSE, ABDURAHMAN, and previously indicted co-conspirator HAMZA AHMED, traveled by bus to New York City. M. FARAH, MUSSE and ABDURAHMAN were stopped before boarding international flights from JFK to various destinations in Southeastern Europe in an attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIL.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, after the failed attempts to travel in November 2014, MUSSE, M. FARAH, ABDURAHMAN, and OMAR were joined in their discussions by DAUD, A. FARAH, and a seventh person, who was also a confidential human source (CHS). Members of this group discussed a plan to obtain false passports for another attempt to leave the United States for Syria. The CHS later informed OMAR that he had obtained a source for forged passports in San Diego, California.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, between March 30 and April 9, 2015, several of the defendants provided photographs and cash payments to the CHS for use in obtaining their fake passports.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, at approximately 8:15 p.m. on April 17, 2015, M. FARAH, DAUD and the CHS left Minneapolis in DAUD’s vehicle, bound for San Diego, California.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Defendant Information:

ZACHARIA YUSUF ABDURAHMAN, 19

Columbia Heights, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

ABDIRAHMAN YASIN DAUD, 21

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

ADNAN FARAH, 19

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

MOHAMED ABDIHAMID FARAH, 21

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

HANAD MUSTAFE MUSSE, 19

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

GULED ALI OMAR, 20

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count
  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

1The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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