Minneapolis: 3rd of 8 Muslims who plotted in mosques to join ISIS pleads guilty

via 3rd Twin Cities man pleads guilty in ISIS plot – TwinCities.com

A Twin Cities man attended meetings in local mosques, parks and restaurants as he planned to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, he admitted in court Thursday, saying he wanted to join the violent terrorist group to help his fellow Muslims.

Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group — specifically the Islamic State group. He admitted that he and eight other men met 10 to 15 times to talk about routes to Syria and how to finance their trip.

He faces up to 15 years when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis; that date hasn’t been set.

Abdurahman is the third Twin Cities man to plead guilty in connection with planning travel to Syria. Five others face a February trial.

Authorities have described the men from the local Somali community as friends who recruited and inspired each other. Prosecutors say the men were advised from overseas by Abdi Nur, another Minnesota man who went to Syria in May 2014.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is home to the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the U.S., and the community has been a target for terror recruiters: more than 22 men have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left to join jihadist groups in Syria.

Abdurahman said Thursday that he began thinking about going to Syria in the spring of 2014 after he saw how the Syrian people were suffering at the hands of the Bashar Assad regime. Abdurahman said he saw videos of elderly parents and kids pleading for help from Muslims, and felt he had an obligation because “it is a worse sin to not listen to their cries,” he said. [These are Obama talking points – anyone who believes this kid wanted to join ISIS to help elderly Syrian parents should be sent to Syria]

He also said he watched English-language jihadist videos on YouTube, Twitter and other social media outlets, and wanted to join the Islamic State group even though he knew it carried out beheadings and burned prisoners. [even though or because?]

Abdurahman said he and some of his co-conspirators took buses to New York last November and tried to travel overseas from there. After they were stopped and returned to Minnesota, he said he tried to obtain a fake passport as a means of going to Mexico, then overseas.

He provided a picture for a passport to one group member, who was actually an FBI informant, and took it back shortly before his arrest because “I thought I was going to get caught,” he said.

Attorneys for many of the defendants have questioned the government’s use of an informant, and community members have claimed the men were entrapped. Abdurahman said he wasn’t entrapped and that there was a plan in motion before the informant got involved.

Ayan Abdurahman said after her son’s hearing that she was “very sad” and that he and others like him are just children.

“He’s very young,” she said, speaking in broken English. “… I asking the American government they have to treat these as children. They make mistake.”

She also said she’s opposed to what her son says he did, and added that the government, Somali community, mosques and parents need to work together to find other options and promote peace.

Ikraan Abdurahman, Zacharia’s sister, asked that people see her brother for who he is, not for how the media portrays him.

“A mistake doesn’t define a person and he’s an excellent, honest and virtuous human being,” she said.

That which is seen and that which is not seen. The repercussions of Bill Clinton’s failed Somali intervention and even worse Somali Muslim importation has been utterly disastrous for Americans. Hillary Clinton will make things even WORSE.


Feds offer youth leadership opportunities to keep Muslims in Minnesota from joining jihad

Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, alongside Imam Ahmed Burale (right), had a warm greeting for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger before a Somali community meeting in Minneapolis.

“Federal program to fight terrorism takes shape in Minnesota,” by Amy Forliti, Associated Press, September 9, 2015:

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal pilot program designed to combat terror recruiting among Somali youth in Minnesota is beginning to take shape and will include a mentorship program, youth leadership opportunities and other initiatives focused on steering at-risk young people down a positive track, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said.

Luger spoke about the program’s progress ahead of a Wednesday afternoon announcement, providing the most details yet about the effort, which the Justice Department unveiled a year ago. Similar programs are underway in Boston and Los Angeles.

The programs have rolled out slowly in part due to suspicion and some resistance in the pilot cities, where some have worried that they would amount to government surveillance of Muslims.

Luger said Tuesday that the ideas being implemented in Minnesota are the product of months of meetings with religious and community leaders, government representatives, corporations and other private partners.

The program includes several elements. Among them, Big Brothers Big Sisters has developed a mentorship program for Somali youth, which is being funded by the Carlson Family Foundation, and Cargill Inc. is setting up a pilot youth leadership program.

“This is the right thing to do,” Luger said. “This is what community members asked us to do, and in some ways, demanded we do.”

Minnesota’s program is focused on the state’s large Somali community, which has been a target for terror recruiters; roughly 22 men left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join jihadist groups in Syria. Al-Shabab has led an Islamic insurgency in Somalia for the last eight years, and has stepped up attacks in recent months targeting African Union forces, government officials and foreigners.

So far, more than $850,000 in public and private funding has been secured for countering terror recruiting in Minnesota, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. That includes $216,000 in federal funds for the pilot program, and $250,000 in state money that has been allocated for similar efforts. The private funding includes money from the owners of the Mall of America, Luger said.

A nonprofit group called Youthprise, which invests in opportunities for young people, will allocate money that’s not already designated to a specific part of the program, leaving Luger’s office out of the financial process. Wokie Weah, president of Youthprise, said she anticipates her organization will begin accepting requests for project proposals in January.

The pilot program was dubbed Countering Violent Extremism by the Justice Department but renamed Building Community Resilience in Minnesota. To address some of the concerns about the program, Luger signed a memorandum of understanding in May that said the program would not be used to collect intelligence. His office also set up a Somali task force to lead the project….

h/t Jihad Watch who writes:

How does Luger know that his Somali task force rejects the understanding of Islam that is the real, albeit unacknowledged, impetus for these young men who join jihad? He doesn’t, of course, because he is doubtless certain that Islam is a Religion of Peace and that such concerns are entirely unwarranted.

Minnesota: Judge Won’t Dismiss Charges Against 7 Muslims Who Planned to Join Islamic State

via 7 Accused of Planning to Join Islamic State Still Charged – ABC News h/t Jihad Watch

A federal judge said Tuesday that he won’t dismiss charges against seven Minnesota men accused of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group, saying the defense arguments have no merit.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis’ order comes a day before a hearing on dozens of motions in the case. Though many requests are standard, documents filed ahead of the hearing provide glimpses into the investigation, and show that the scope of the alleged conspiracy goes beyond the men being prosecuted. Some details:

Seven Minnesota men have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and other counts. Prosecutors allege the men, friends in Minnesota’s Somali community, began meeting in spring 2014 to talk about traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

Defense attorneys sought to dismiss several counts, arguing that membership or independent advocacy for a terrorist organization is protected under the First Amendment, and that the Islamic State is more like a nation than a terror group because it proclaims itself sovereign, controls territory and has an army.

But Davis said independent advocacy or passive membership is different from active conduct. He also said the Islamic State group has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Davis also disagreed with a defense argument that the men’s rights to freely exercise their religion are being violated.

Other requests submitted by defense attorneys will be taken up Wednesday.

Prosecutors say several men met multiple times in early 2014 to talk about routes to Syria, costs and potential funding sources. They also watched jihadi propaganda, communicated on messaging apps that couldn’t be traced, played paintball for “training” and looked to the successes and failures of other travelers as they modified plans.

One man, Hanad Mohallim, left the U.S. for Syria in March 2014, prosecutors say. Weeks later Abdullahi Yusuf and Abdi Nur applied for expedited passports. Yusuf was stopped at the airport and has since pleaded guilty to a terror charge, while Nur left the U.S. in May 2014.

Another man, Yusuf Jama, left in early June 2014 by taking a bus from Minneapolis to New York City then flying overseas. Four defendants attempted that same route to Syria last November.

Prosecutors say the defendants believe Mohallim and Jama are dead, though their deaths haven’t been confirmed, while Nur has become “a consistent source of information and inspiration” for the men. Authorities say the defendants talked about becoming martyrs and foot soldiers for Nur, whom the men described as being in an elite special forces group within the Islamic State group.

The defense is asking that prosecutors be ordered to disclose the identity of an informant, who began cooperating with the FBI this year, so they can interview him. But prosecutors say the informant will be a trial witness so he’ll be subject to cross-examination.

The use of an informant has enraged some in the Somali community, who claim the men were entrapped. Prosecutors say the men came up with plans before the informant began cooperating; defense attorneys say the informant’s credibility and motivations are key to their defense.

Defense attorneys also asked that the court limit visible security at trial. Past hearings have included added security, such as bomb-sniffing dogs. Prosecutors argued these measures are appropriate, saying the hearings are packed, some audience members don’t stand when the judge enters and some have exchanged “fist-pumping salutes” with defendants.

Davis denied that request for now, but said the defense could ask again after a trial date is set.


Minnesota Gives Muslim Terror Suspect on ‘No Fly’ List Commercial Trucking License

The Muslim terror suspect has applied to drive a school bus!


Source: A Terror Suspect on the ‘No Fly’ List Just Got His Trucking License in Minnesota

A Minnesota terror suspect may be on the “No Fly” list, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting his Class A trucking license.

Back in 2007, the FBI arrested Amir Meshal on suspicion of leaving a terror training camp in Somalia. But this month, Meshal was granted a license to drive semi-trucks after he passed his road test. He also applied for a school bus endorsement.

Meshal was asked to leave two different U.S. mosques due to suspected radicalization of other members.

Read more from FOX9.com:

In May 2014, Meshal was removed and trespassed from a Bloomington, Minn. mosque, Al Farooq, after he was suspected of radicalizing young people who would later travel to Syria. According to the police report, religious leaders said, “We have concerns about Meshal interacting with our youth.”  Meshal had previously been asked to leave an Eden Prairie, Minn. mosque for similar reasons.

The ACLU recently sued TSA and Homeland Security to have Meshal removed from the “No Fly” list.  But Homeland Security responded in a letter obtained by the FOX 9 Investigators that Meshal, “..may be a threat to civil aviation or national security,” adding that, “It has been determined that you (Amir Meshal) are an individual who represents a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and who is operationally capable of doing so.”


The FOX 9 Investigators asked the Minnesota Department of Public Safety why they issued a Class A license for someone who Homeland Security believes has the “operational capacity” to carry out a terror attack. We have not heard back.

More: Taxpayers funded his training.

The $4,000 tuition was paid for through the state workforce program.

And he wants to drive a school bus.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirms he was granted the license after passing a road test on August 8. A spokesperson said Meshal has also applied for a school bus endorsement, pending the outcome of a criminal background check.

Former Terror Suspect Kicked Out of MN Mosque for Proselytizing Radical Views

Federal Grand Jury Probing Suspected Terrorist Pipeline in MN

Minnesota: State and city taxpayers lose big on Somali-Muslim daycare fraud

Source: Minnesota state and city taxpayers lose big on Somali-run daycare fraud | Alpha News. h/t Refugee Resettlement Watch

Since the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) fully-staffed their new child care fraud investigative unit in the spring of 2014, they’ve worked with the FBI to shutter daycare centers around the state.  Of the cases that have hit the news since then, all have involved Somali-run businesses.

Khadra Abdisafad Hirsi, 47, was the director and co-owner of Ace Daycare Center in Eden Prairie.   In February, Hirsi pleaded guilty to knowingly submitting fraudulent claims to the state of Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program. From November of 2011-May of 2013, Hrisi inflated the number of children using her daycare’s services and fraudulently obtained $300,000 in payments from the state of Minnesota and the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services. Earlier this month Hirsi was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution.


Hirsi, who also goes by the name of Khadra Duale, was employed by the City of

Eden Prairie as a part-time community services technician, also known as the immigrant liaison, from October 2003-September 2011, she was also part-time staff at the Eden Prairie community center.  Hirsi was paid $284,944 in salary and $35,806 in health and dental benefits by the city during that time.  She co-owned the Ace Daycare in Eden Prairie with her husband Mohamed F. Arab, although there were no charges against him.   The Eden Prairie news called Hirsi and her husband “leaders in the Somali community” in a 2009 video interview featuring the couple.  They filed for bankruptcy this summer according to public records.

The Ace Daycare building was leased to to Hirsi by the city of Eden Prairie starting in September 2010, while she was still working for the city. The lease was transferred in October of 2013 to Roda Farrah Moahmed, owner of Light House Daycare.  In March of 2015, the city renewed the lease to Lighthouse which will run through October 2020. Lighthouse is licensed with the state of Minnesota, and was fined $400 in March of this year by the state for failing to submit background studies for multiple staff members

Deqo daycare center, which had three locations in Apple Valley, St. Paul, and Minneapolis was shut down in 2013 due to licensing violations and prosecutors charged  husband and wife Ahmed Aden Mohamed and Yasmin Abdulle Ali for bilking the state out of nearly $3.7 million, $3.1 million of which was collected from April 2012-January 2013.  The duo had recruited more than 100 parents to enroll their own children in the program.

Salama Child Care Center in Minneapolis was raided in May of this year by the FBI and state agents. Salama is run by Ardo Diriye whose daughter Farah Adid is the Director of Operations and is “also licensed to provide standardized day care and preschool curriculum.” Per KSTP News, the search warrant indicated that there was a large discrepancy between the number of children attending and the number receiving state funds.  The investigation is ongoing and includes suspicion of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of public money.

Yasmin Muhina Salim, owner of Kind Heart Day Care Center in Mankato, was arrested in June of 2014 for defrauding the state for $12,000 over a three month period.

DHS’s Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report for 2014  stated that “The OIG is seriously concerned about a pattern of child care fraud activities that involves deception and exploitation. It begins with recruiting parents as child care center employees with the condition that they enroll their children in a child care assistance program (CCAP) to ensure public funds revenue for the business; the scheme ends with exploiting four sets of victims: the children, parents, those on the Child Care Assistance Program waiting list and taxpayers.”

The prevalence of Somali-run daycare providers being found guilty of fraud by the new investigative unit may be a coincidence.  Ongoing investigations by the child care investigative unit are not public information.  The $4 million + in fraud that’s been discovered so far represents just 1% of the estimated $418 million in child care payments made by the state in 2014-2015.


Minnesota: Group With No Jihadi Experience Rehabs Muslim Terrorist

Are these the fruits of the “new” FBI?

This particular Muslim Terror Suspect Was Already Re-Arrested Once for violating terms of his previous release and being caught with a box cutter. 

via Group With No Jihadi Experience Rehabs ISIS Recruit – The Daily Beast.

An American citizen who pleaded guilty to supporting ISIS was ordered by a federal judge to leave jail—and go to a halfway home instead. That rehab program is run by a group that had no prior experience with would-be Islamic terrorists, The Daily Beast has learned.

Abdullahi Yusuf of Minnesota was allowed to depart from jail and stay at a halfway home after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS in January. (Yusuf was stopped at the airport trying to fly to Turkey in May 2014, at age 18.) Once inside the halfway home, Yusuf was to be “de-radicalized” through regular meetings with a counselor whose curriculum looked more like a high school civics course than religious deprogramming.

His attorney proposed the de-radicalization program and Judge Michael Davis approved it over prosecutors’ objections. In a memorandum, the assistant U.S. attorneys trying Yusuf’s case reiterated their concerns about this program for Yusuf, because they said he had evaded his parents’ supervision and lied to authorities. Nevertheless, Judge Davis released him with an electronic monitoring device around his ankle.

Yusuf was assigned a bed at a halfway house in St. Paul where he could only leave for approved activities—like meetings with his mentors from a civics group called Heartland Democracy.

Heartland director Mary McKinley said she was not exactly sure why Yusuf’s proposal was granted, other than maybe it “just made sense.”

“On the other hand, it was also a surprise that any kind of access was given,” she said. “But I think it says a lot about what the U.S. attorney and the community were trying to do.”

Heartland had no experience with de-radicalizing jihadis, and it was carrying out the government’s first foray into deradicalizing ISIS sympathizers.

McKinley in court documents proposed adapting Heartland’s existing civics program for gangs to Yusuf.

McKinley said one of the first objectives is to “coach our youth in deep and sustained civic empowerment and ‘real’ civics made accessible, experiential, and multi-dimensional through the Empowering U curriculum and coaching method,” which is the program Heartland Democracy previously used.

In other words: civics for jihadis.

“This is the first time actually, as far as we can tell, that somebody has had the opportunity to be part of something like this,” McKinley told The Daily Beast, though she added that she was reluctant to call what her program does “de-radicalization.”

“I don’t call it that because that’s not what my background is in,” she said. “I guess people could label it as such.”

The judge approved Yusuf’s release in late January. He and a Somali-American mentor began to work through an extensive reading list, which included Richard Wright’s Native Son, a novel about growing up poor and black in the 1930s, and an article by Native American author Sherman Alexie about how poetry freed him from the “reservation” of his mind.

McKinley would not say how often Yusuf met his mentor.

“We met with him regularly, I don’t know the number of times a week,” she said. When pressed on whether they met weekly, biweekly, or at a different pace, McKinley would not clarify. “We met with him regularly.”

Court documents also reference Yusuf meeting with religious leaders, but McKinley wasn’t sure about that.

“I don’t know if he’s met with any religious leaders,” she said in response to a question about meeting with imams. “I mean, he’s an adult, he can get any visitor he wants.”

In April, the halfway house’s inspection of Yusuf’s room turned up a box cutter, which got him kicked out of the home—but not out of rehab.

“He has been continuing with his reading and his writing and his studying in the jail, and now we’ve gotten approval for his mentors to go into the jail to meet with him one on one,” Yusuf’s lawyer, Jean Brandl, told The Daily Beast.

The proposal for Yusuf did not say how anyone would determine whether he’s been de-radicalized.

Minnesota’s Muslim Congressman Wants Somali’s Arrested on ISIS Charges Released to Families, Mosques. So guess who those so-called religious leaders are he is meeting with and what they might be telling him. 

Not the first time a Muslim terrorists in Minnesota was released to a halfway house – as we noted in 2009.

Minnesota: Jailed ISIS Suspects Were Recruited by…Muslims in Minnesota

Yeah, they are called imams. via New documents: Jailed ISIS suspects were recruited by fellow Minnesotans.

Seven men now in jail pending trial on charges that they attempted to join ISIS were inspired and guided by Minnesotans who had joined militant groups in the Middle East and Somalia, prosecutors said Friday.

In a court document, prosecutors alleged that the defendants used the Internet to access ISIS propaganda and communicate with foreign fighters in Somalia and Syria.

In the Friday evening filing, which came in response to motions filed in the case by lawyers representing the defendants, federal prosecutors rejected many of the defense’s motions, including a number of arguments over vague definitions for terms like “material support” and “terrorist activity.”

In April, FBI agents arrested six of the seven men in multiple operations in Minneapolis and San Diego following a 10-month investigation. The seventh man, Hamza Ahmed, was arrested last November.

The documents filed Friday offer more details on how the men allegedly recruited each other. Defendant Guled Omar, for example, introduced Ahmed and Yusuf Jama into group meetings during which the men were allegedly planning their travels to Syria. Jama traveled to Syria in the summer of 2014 and is believed to be dead.

When federal agents intercepted Abdullahi Yusuf and Ahmed last year at airports and charged them with conspiring to assist a foreign terrorist organization, the other suspects were concerned that the two might cooperate with authorities and reveal their impending travel plans.

Omar, Abdirahman Daud and Adnan Farah then started attending Yusuf’s court appearances. About a month before their arrest, Friday’s filings said, Zachariah Abdurahman and Omar also discussed their concern that Yusuf was cooperating with law enforcement.

“Abdullahi told them there are meetings,” Omar told Abdurahman. “That’s the worst thing. I was mad as hell.”

The documents also reveal that, in the weeks leading up to their attempted April departures, the seven men allegedly expressed their desire to die in the battlefields of Syria to become martyrs.

“I personally think that, like, I will get shahada [martyrdom] quick,” Omar allegedly said, according to a short except of what is presumably a longer conversation among Omar, Zacharia Abdurahman and an FBI informant.

The conversation was recorded by the informant, who was friends with the men.

“Look at what I was doing at paintball, bro. What the hell? All right,” Omar said.

“Paintball was amazing,” Abdurahman said.

“We was literally treating it like it was real war, bro,” Omar added.

In May 2014, before he started working for the FBI, the informant — who at the time was part of the alleged conspiracy to join ISIS — had planned to travel to California with Omar and Jama, according to Friday’s filings.

The informant had intended to stay in California until he made contact with ISIS fighter Douglas McCain, a former Minnesota resident who died in Syria last August.

The informant, who went by the name “Rover”, was paid more than $41,000 for tape-recording his friends’ conversations, among other tasks.

Some of the ISIS suspects, according to the documents, were being tape-recorded while driving. One suspect was interviewed at his home in Columbia Heights. Another’s conversation was “overheard by FBI surveillance personnel” while at a state Department of Vehicle Services office.

The ISIS suspects hoped to become “foot soldiers” for Abdi Nur, one of their friends who left Minnesota and joined ISIS, according to the document.

“He’s already learning Arabic, Wallahi [by God],” Omar allegedly said of Nur. “I should have told him to speak Arabic to us. He does that sometimes. He speaks good Arabic now.”

The court documents say prosecutors could release the identity of the informant, who is already well known to the defendants, to defense attorneys. They say he will be a prosecution witness if the case goes to trial and that taped recordings and transcriptions will be available.

In their motions, defense attorneys objected to the heavy security presence at the hearings, which they said could influence jurors’ decisions.

Prosecutors, however, argued that security measures have been “appropriate and necessary.”

Court documents say that previous hearings were chaotic, the gallery packed with spectators — some of whom refused to follow simple courtroom decorum.

“Fist-pumping salutes have been exchanged between the defendants in the well of the courtroom and members of the public in the gallery,” the documents said.

Nonetheless, prosecutors said they will not object to the judge’s orders about appropriate security measures.

A motions hearing is scheduled for Sept. 2 in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis.

End refugee resettlement of Somali Muslims. Shut any mosque found preaching jihad or recruiting for jihad. End foreign funding of mosques. 

Quadruple taxes on remittances to foreign countries. Deport all immediate family members of those caught attempting to wage jihad and defrauding U.S. taxpayers. 




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