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Press Release

Tenth Twin Cities Man Charged With Conspiracy To Provide Material Support To ISIL

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota
Three co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty; five expected to go to trial in May 2016

United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew M. Luger, Special Agent in Charge for the Minneapolis Division of the FBI Richard T. Thornton and Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John P. Carlin today announced a criminal complaint charging ABDIRIZAK MOHAMED WARSAME, 20, with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and providing material support to ISIL. The defendant made an initial appearance today before Senior District Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn.

“This defendant is the tenth Twin Cities’ man charged as part of a broad conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL,” said US Attorney Luger. “The FBI and prosecutors in my office continue to work without pause to keep Minnesotans safe and bring these defendants to justice.”

“This arrest demonstrates the commitment to U.S. national security by the members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said Special Agent in Charge Thornton.  “The members of this task force work in concert to ensure the protection of the United States and its citizens every day.  These efforts will continue as long as threats persist.”

“Abdirizak Warsame conspired with others to travel to Syria to fight with ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “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.”

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, in the spring of 2014, WARSAME and his co-conspirators began meeting to watch propaganda videos that glorified religious violence and discussing their aspirations to travel to Syria to join and fight with ISIL. Members of the group, including WARSAME, discussed ways to leave the United States and travel to Syria despite the fact that law enforcement scrutiny of them was intense. At one such meeting, GULED OMAR was elected “emir,” or leader, of the group. Later in 2014 when OMAR was planning to depart for Syria, OMAR appointed WARSAME to replace him as “emir” for the remaining co-conspirators.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, in the spring of 2014, WARSAME provided $200 to a co-conspirator, ADNAN FARAH, so that A. FARAH could obtain an expedited U.S. Passport so that A. FARAH could travel overseas to join ISIL. WARSAME also applied for an expedited passport in the spring of 2014, but his application was initially denied.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, WARSAME repeatedly attempted to obtain a telephone number or other contact information of ISIL members, including ISIL member H.K. In June 2014, WARSAME attempted to obtain this contact information so that he could pass the contact information along to Y.J., who was then attempting to travel from Turkey to Syria to join ISIL.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, in April 2015 WARSAME had actively encouraged OMAR and other co-conspirators to travel to Syria through Mexico, but did not plan to join the Mexico group because he was planning to travel with his family to East Africa. From East Africa, WARSAME planned to either break free from his family and travel to Syria, or wait in Somalia for a time when, he believed, al-Shabaab would pledge allegiance to ISIL, thus expanding ISIL to Somalia.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, on April 2, 2015, WARSAME recounted a conversation he had with ABDI NUR, before NUR left the United States for Syria. In that exchange, WARSAME told OMAR that he proposed to NUR that they rob people in order to finance their travel to Syria. WARSAME further explained that NUR rejected this idea, and suggested they rob the government instead.

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, Bloomington Police Department, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Air Marshals Service, Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, Minneapolis Police Department, the Airport Police, and the FBI.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and John F. Docherty.


Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     


Eagan, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, 1 count

  • Providing 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


The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 10, 2015