A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group.
Twenty-year-old Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame entered his plea at a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Warsame admitted he tried to help other young men from Minnesota’s Somali community with their plans to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State group.
Warsame also boasted of being able to take down a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Warsame says he learned about the Islamic State group by watching videos on YouTube and listening to lectures. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke to Warsame’s mother, Deqa Hussen. She called today “amazing,” praising her son for telling the truth.
“He’s a nice kid and maybe he made a mistake,” Hussen said. “I commanded my son to tell the truth, and he did.”
In court, Warsame opened up about how he started his quest to join the Islamic State in 2014. The 20-year-old told the judge that if he made it overseas, he was aware he might be involved with beheadings and killing.
Warsame admitted to studying the Islamic State extensively and felt it was his duty to help people in need struggling with oppression. But since he was charged, Warsame told the judge that his opinions have changed because “too many innocent people are dying”.
Nine other members of that group were charged previously; one is believed to be in Syria and three have already pleaded guilty.
Five others are scheduled to go to trial in May. On Thursday, the five men appeared in court briefly for a motion hearing where the judge denied all but one motion.
[He] once boasted that he was capable of building rockets that could threaten planes landing at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and that he once worked there as a baggage handler.
What about his mosque?