MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Hamza Ahmed, a key defendant in the investigation of alleged ISIS recruits in Minnesota, changed his plea to guilty Monday morning in federal court. Ahmed’s plea comes just 11 days after another defendant, Adnan Farah, took a plea deal, and just two weeks before the federal trial was scheduled to begin.
In November 2014, Ahmed and 3 other young men from the Twin Cities took a Greyhound bus from Minneapolis to New York. The other three were stopped by customs at JFK, but Ahmed was already on board a flight to Turkey when the FBI pulled him off the plane. Ahmed told agents he was traveling on to Madrid by himself, but had no hotel reservations and no contacts in Spain.
All 4 were allowed to take a Greyhound bus back to Minneapolis, where the FBI again interviewed Ahmed, who denied knowing the other 3 -- only recognizing one from Burnsville High School. But the FBI had video from the bus terminal, showing they had traveled together.
Ahmed was arrested Feb. 5 and charged with lying to the FBI.
With Hamza Ahmed’s change of plea, there are now 3 defendants set for trial on May 9, one person at-large and believed to be in Syria.
Zacharia Abdurahman – guilty plea in Sept. 2015, awaiting sentencing
Hamza Ahmed – guilty plea in April 2016.
Abdirahman Daud – in custody, awaiting trial on May 9
Adnan Farah – guilty plea in April 2016, awaiting sentencing
Mohamed Farah – in custody, awaiting trial on May 9
Hanad Musse – guilty plea in Sept. 2015, awaiting sentencing
Abdi Nur – at-large, believed to be with ISIS in Syria
Guled Omar – in custody, awaiting trial on May 9
Abdirizak Warsame – guilty plea in Feb. 2016, awaiting sentencing
Abdullahi Yusuf – guilty plea in Feb. 2015, awaiting sentencing