According to federal court filings, one of the seven Minnesota men accused of attempting to join ISIS apparently planned to kill FBI agents who were investigating them over the last 10 months. In those documents, prosecutors request the suspects remain custody while awaiting trial, and at a Friday hearing for one of them, that request was granted.
After more than an hour of trading arguments, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ordered 21-year-old Abdurahman Yasin Daud, who is accused of being part of a cross-country road trip from Minneapolis to San Diego, and ultimately, Syria, to remain in custody while awaiting trial. Judge Davis said he wants to finish reviewing Daud's pretrial review before making any decision about a possible release, but for now, Daud is considered dangerous to the public and a flight risk."Members of the conspiracy have spoken not only of violence in Syria, but of violence in Minnesota. Mohamed Farah, a co-defendant of Daud's, and the defendant who traveled to San Diego with Daud, has stated that he intends, if he cannot get to Syria, to murder federal law enforcement officers," court documents released Thursday said.
'I feel like Tijuana, Tijuana, Tijuana'
According to earlier court documents, between March 30 and April 9, 2015, several of the defendants gave cash and passport photos to a confidential source who had identified a source of forged passports in San Diego. On April 17, two of the defendants and the confidential source left Minneapolis by car bound for San Diego.
"I feel like Tijuana, Tijuana, Tijuana," Mohamed Farah allegedly said aloud during that cross-country road trip, which investigators said he hoped would lead to Mexico, and ultimately, Syria.
"A short time later, Defendant stated, 'I'm going to spit on America at the border crossing.' In this same recording, both Farah and Defendant discuss 'tweeting' FBI agents upon arrival in Syria. Defendant specifically names two agents involved in the investigation who he intends to tweet. Mohamed Farah then stated that he would tweet 'what's up suckas?' to the agents," the documents continued.
Days earlier, prosecutors alleged Farah made his intentions clear should their plan to join ISIS fail:
"If there's no way out, I'm saying. If our backs are against the wall, I'm gonna go kill the one who punks me. You know the one. Everybody has that one Fed that you know. Yours is the one, that tall-assed n----, M---."
Citing these conversations and other evidence, federal prosecutors asked that Farah and the group of Minnesota terror suspects not be released prior to trial.
Defense attorney: It's 'youthful boasting'
At the hearing, Daud's defense attorney Bruce Nestor continued to dispute the evidence, saying it had been taken out of context, accusing the government of exploiting their position and "waving the bloody flag of terrorism.""The government is cherry-picking what it considers to be the most damaging information and taking statements out of context that were made during the course of dozens if not hundreds of hours of conversation. I think that many of the statements the government claims were made sound like youthful boasting, statements that were encouraged and facilitated by a government informant just like he facilitated and encouraged the so-called conspiracy," Nestor told Fox 9's Tom Lyden over the phone.
Farah's mother also weighed in, calling the case against her son and Daud "entrapment."
Texts for travel advice
Evidence didn't stop with recorded conversations alone. Federal prosecutors also released a text exchange where Daud allegedly sought travel advice from an ISIS member, going so far as to get tips on how to get past security, the unnamed man saying:
"If you are questioned at the airport you have holiday package to show, so it's like they can't do nothing."
Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21; Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19; and Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19
These 3 men were already known to the FBI when they allegedly traveled with 19-year-old Hamza Ahmed from Minneapolis to New York City on a Greyhound bus last November. All 4 were stopped before boarding the plane to Istanbul. Hamza Ahmed was charged last February with providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Abdurahman Yasin Daud, 21, and Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19
Adnan Farah, Adburahman Daud and a seventh person joined the 3 suspects listed above in discussions to obtain fake passports and assemble a new travel plan. According to documents filed in court, between March 30 and April 9, 2015, several of the defendants gave cash and passport photos to a confidential source who had identified a source of forged passports in San Diego. At approximately 8:15 p.m. on April 17, Daud, Mohamed Farah and the confidential source left Minneapolis by car, bound for San Diego.
Guled Ali Omar, 20
On Nov. 6, 2014, Omar was stopped at the Minneapolis airport before he could board a flight to San Diego. He had previously planned to leave the United States in May 2014 to join ISIS, but ditched those plans after being confronted by his family.