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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2016

Jury Trial Results In Conviction Of Three Minnesotans For Conspiring To Join ISIL And Commit Murder In Syria

Nine members of conspiracy convicted of terrorism charges in largest multi-defendant ISIL-related case in United States

GULED ALI OMAR, ABDURAHMEN YASIN DAUD, and MOHAMED ABDIHAMID FARAH were convicted by a federal jury today of conspiring to commit murder in Syria on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization.

The convictions were announced by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger, Special Agent in Charge Richard T. Thornton of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division, and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin.

“The evidence in this case made clear that the defendants made a deeply personal and deliberate decision back in 2014,” said United States Attorney Andrew Luger. “They wanted to fight for a brutal terrorist organization, kill innocent people and destroy their own families in the process. This trial should serve as a wake-up call that it will take the entire community to stop terror recruiting in Minnesota.”

“These verdicts affirm the FBI's investigative efforts,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard T. Thornton. “The FBI will not induce people to break our laws. However, the FBI, through all legal means at its disposal, will investigate and pursue those who aim to bring about harm to others.”

“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,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “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.  I would like to thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to secure this conviction.”

Between May 2014 and their arrests on April 19, 2015, these three defendants and their co-conspirators made multiple attempts to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

In May 2014, some members of the conspiracy, including defendant GULED OMAR and co-conspirators ABDI NUR, ABDULLAHI YUSUF, traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIL. To facilitate the travel of his co-conspirators, defendant DAUD provided contact information for an ISIL member in Turkey to NUR and YUSUF so they could gain assistance crossing the border from Turkey into Syria. NUR succeeded in his plan, joining ISIL in Syria in June 2014. YUSUF was stopped at the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Airport and was later arrested.

Also in May 2014, defendant OMAR and two other members of the conspiracy made an attempt to join ISIL by traveling across the United States – Mexico border near San Diego. This planned failed when members of defendant OMAR’s family prevented his travel. 

In October 2014, members of conspiracy communicated with “Antar,” a self-described member of ISIL in Syria, about how best to travel to Syria to join ISIL. Members of conspiracy met with one another to discuss routes, methods and the timing of leaving the United States to join ISIL in Syria.

Defendant OMAR again attempted to join ISIL in Syria on November 6, 2014, by first flying from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to San Diego, California. Again, defendant OMAR planned to cross the United States – Mexico border near San Diego and travel onward to Syria to join ISIL. Before he could board the flight in Minnesota, OMAR was stopped at the airport and prevented from boarding the plane. In order to fund this second attempt to join ISIL in Syria, OMAR intended to use federal financial aid provided to him by the United States Department of Education to attend college.

Also in November 2014, defendant FARAH and three of his co-conspirators, defendants ZACHARIA ABDURAHMAN, HANAD MUSSE, and HAMZA AHMED, took a Greyhound bus to New York City and attempted to board flights to Europe.  Defendant FARAH’s ultimate destination was Syria, where he planned to join and fight with ISIL.  Federal agents in New York prevented defendant FARAH and his three co-conspirators from traveling.

In April 2015, defendants DAUD and FARAH drove from Minneapolis to San Diego, Calif., where they intended to purchase fake passports, cross the border into Mexico, travel to Syria to join ISIL.  Unbeknownst to them, the individual from whom they purchased the fake passports was a law enforcement officer and both were arrested by federal agents immediately after obtaining the phony travel documents.

Ten Minnesotans were charged as part of this conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL. The men are all associates and friends of one another. Six defendants pleaded guilty before trial and one, ABDI NUR, joined ISIL in Syria in June 2015.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Winter, John Docherty, and Julie Allyn, with assistance provided by the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Special thanks to San Diego and New York Field Offices of the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California.

 

Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     

GULED ALI OMAR, 21

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to Murder Outside the United States, 1 count

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count

  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 2 counts

  • Attempted Financial Aid Fraud, 1 count

 

MOHAMED ABDIHAMID FARAH, 22

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to Murder Outside the United States, 1 count

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count

  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 2 counts

  • Perjury, 1 count

  • False Statement, 1 count

 

ABDIRAHMAN YASIN DAUD, 22

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to Murder Outside the United States, 1 count

  • Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), 1 count

  • Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, 1 count

     

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    United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Counterterrorism
Component(s): 
Updated June 3, 2016