Jury Convicts 3 Minnesota Muslims for Conspiracy to Join Islamic State, Murder

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A federal jury in Minnesota on Friday convicted three Muslim men on charges of conspiracy to join the Islamic State and commit murder.

“In the first multi-defendant ISIL-related trial, Mohamed Farah, Abdirahman Daud and Guled Omar were convicted of conspiring to provide material support to the foreign terrorist organization and other federal offenses,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General Carlin said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The defendants conspired with a larger group of individuals to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIL. Countering terrorist threats remains the highest priority of the National Security Division.  We will continue to work to disrupt the recruitment and radicalization of Americans by terrorist organizations, and bring to justice those who conspire to provide material support to terrorists.”

The jury convicted the three men on charges of conspiring to commit murder in Syria on behalf of ISIS and to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization. Records show that Omar was also convicted on one count of attempted financial aid fraud while Farah was also convicted on a charge of perjury and providing a false statement to federal authorities.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger of the District of Minnesota said, “The evidence in this case made clear that the defendants made a deeply personal and deliberate decision back in 2014.”

“They wanted to fight for a brutal terrorist organization, kill innocent people and destroy their own families in the process,” he said. This trial should serve as a wake-up call that it will take the entire community to stop terror recruiting in Minnesota.”

Breitbart Texas Associate Editor Bob Price and journalist Ildefonso Ortiz reported in April that Omar had planned to advise ISIS members of a route through Mexico where potential terrorists could be smuggled into the U.S.

At that time, prosecutors released statements that spoke of how one of the defendants “found a means of reaching Syria by going through Mexico.” The defendant then allegedly said that “defendants will be able to tell ISIL of the route so that ISIL can send fighters into the United States via that route to mount attacks.”

Information provided by the Department of Justice revealed that in May 2014, some members of the conspiracy, including Omar and co-conspirators Abdi Nur and Abdullahi Yusuf, traveled, or in some cases, attempted to travel to Syria to join up with the Islamic State. Daud provided about an ISIS member in Turkey to Nur and Yusuf to help them with crossing the border from Turkey into Syria. Nur succeeded and was able to cross into Syria in June 2014, but Yusuf was stopped at a Minnesota airport and later arrested.

Omar, along with other members of the conspiracy, attempted to make their way to join up with ISIS by crossing the U.S./Mexico border near San Diego in May 2014. The attempt failed when Omar’s family members prevented his travel.

Omar made another attempt to travel to Syria to join up with the Islamic State on Nov. 6, 2014. He planned to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to San Diego and cross the border into Mexico. He would then continue his travel to Syria. However, Omar was prevented from boarding the plane at the Minnesota airport. Omar planned on using federal financial aid he had obtained from the U.S. Department of Education to attend college, prosecutors stated.

Also in November 2014, Farah and three of his co-conspirators, Zacharia Abdurahman, Hanad Musse, and Hamza Ahmed, took a bus from Minneapolis to New York City where they attempted to board flights to Europe. Their planned destination was Syria. Their travel was prevented by federal agents in New York who stopped them from boarding the aircraft.

A total of ten men from Minnesota were charged in the conspiracy. Six defendants have already pleaded guilty in their cases and are awaiting sentencing. Alleged conspirator, Abdi Nur, remains at large. The men are reported to all be friends.

The three men convicted on Friday now await a sentencing hearing.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.