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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nine Twin Cities Men Sentenced For Providing Material Support To ISIL

Nine men were sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for conspiring to provide material support to ISIL. GULED OMAR, 22, was sentenced today to 35 years in prison. MOHAMED FARAH, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. ABDIRAHMAN DAUD, 22, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis Division Richard T. Thornton, and Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord.

“ISIL remains one of the most dangerous terror organizations in the world,” said United States Attorney Luger. “The defendants sentenced today remind us that this ideology ruins the lives of those who ascribe to it. Omar, Daud and Farah will spend the next several decades in prison because of their unbreakable desire to kill on behalf of ISIL. I commend the agents and officers of the FBI-led JTTF for continuing to keep Minnesotans safe.”

“The sentences handed down today reflect the true gravity of the defendants' crimes to betray their country, travel overseas, and ultimately join a terrorist organization dedicated to the murder of innocent people,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Minneapolis Division Richard T. Thornton. “We hope these sentences will serve as a strong message that those who support terrorism will face justice. The FBI, through our Joint Terrorism Task Force, remains dedicated to working with our community partners to disrupt threats posed by ISIL and their supporters.”

“This case -- culminating in the sentencings of nine young men in the last three days -- demonstrates our commitment to disrupting those who would conspire to travel to Syria to fight with ISIL,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord.  “Counterterrorism is the National Security Division’s highest priority, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and to bring to justice those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

As proven at trial, between May 2014 and their arrests on April 19, 2015, these three defendants and their co-conspirators made multiple attempts to join ISIL in Syria. 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. 

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 was one of four co-conspirators to take a Greyhound bus to New York City and attempt to board a flight 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.

Eleven Minnesotans have been 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 two, ABDI NUR and MOHAMED ROBLE, joined ISIL in Syria.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF includes members from the following departments:  the United States Marshals Service, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Bloomington Police Department, St. Paul Police Department, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Air Marshals Service, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Minneapolis Police Department, Burnsville Police Department, Department of State, the Airport Police, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, and the FBI.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Winter, John Docherty and Julie Allyn, with assistance from the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

 

Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     

GULED ALI OMAR, 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
  • Attempted Financial Aid Fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 35 years in prison
  • Supervised release for a term of life

 

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

Sentenced:

  • 30 years in prison
  • Supervised release for a term of life

 

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

Sentenced:

  • 30 years in prison
  • Supervised release for a term of life

     

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

 

Updated November 17, 2016