The FBI is investigating four Minnesota residents for allegedly attempting to fight alongside the Islamic State terror group and contribute to its jihad in Syria, according to court documents.
Court records stated that one of the men under investigation, Hamza Ahmed, lied to federal agents about his associations with the three other men. According to legal records, all four of the Minnesotans traveled on a bus to JFK airport in New York City in November, where they would then attempt to find a route into Syria.
The three other men are only being identified at this time as HMM, MF, and ZA, but they are all from Minneapolis, according to NBC News. Federal officials removed Ahmed, who boarded a plane, just before it took off. All four are reportedly either 19 or 20 years of age. However, a federal official told NBC News that only Hamza Ahmed is being charged at this time.
Documents revealed that Ahmed may have been flagged by federal officials after he utilized his Twitter account to communicate in “a lengthy series of messages” with another Minnesota man who successfully made his way to Syria.
In late January, another Minnesotan, 18-year-old Abdullahi Yusuf, was charged with attempting to join ISIS in Syria. He will reportedly be released to a halfway house after his trial, according to MPR News. Another Minnesotan, 20-year-old Abdi Nur, faces criminal charges in connection with allegedly conspiring with the ISIS terrorist group, but he remains at large.
In June, Breitbart News reported that as many as fifteen Somali-Americans who lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area may have left to join ISIS in Syria. One man, who left his nine children behind, reportedly said it was his duty to “give up this worldly life for Allah” and “save the global Muslim community.”