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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 14, 2016

Three Twin Cities Men Sentenced For Providing Material Support To ISIL

The first three of nine defendants expected to be sentenced this week for conspiring to provide material support to ISIL were sentenced today in three separate hearings in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. ABDULLAHI YUSUF, 20, was sentenced to time already served. ABDIRIZAK WARSAME, 21, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. ZACHARIA ABDURAHMAN, 21, was sentenced to 10 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 the National Security Division Mary B. McCord.

“The hard work of rehabilitating those who seek to engage in ideological violence must continue,” said United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger. “Judge Davis recognized that fact today in his considered sentences for those defendants who cooperated with the government and have begun to disengage from ISIL’s violent ideology.”

According to his guilty plea, in April 2014, YUSUF applied for an expedited U.S. Passport at the Minneapolis Passport Office. The following month, YUSUF attempted to travel from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, to join ISIL. He was stopped at the airport by federal agents. YUSUF pleaded guilty on February 26, 2015. YUSUF cooperated with the United States and testified at the trial of three of his co-conspirators.

According to his guilty plea, WARSAME participated in the conspiracy throughout 2014 and early 2015 in various capacities, including serving briefly as “emir” of the co-conspirators, and helping unindicted co-conspirator, Yusuf Jama, obtain contact information to aid his joining ISIL in Syria. WARSAME pleaded guilty on February 11, 2016. WARSAME cooperated with the United States and testified at the trial of three of his co-conspirators.

According to his guilty plea, in November 2014, ABDURAHMAN and three co-conspirators traveled by bus from Minneapolis to New York City’s JFK airport, where they attempted to fly overseas to join ISIL in Syria. They were stopped from flying and questioned by federal agents before returning to Minnesota. Despite being stopped from traveling in November 2014, ABDURAHMAN and the co-conspirators continued to discuss and plan another attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIL. ABDURAHMAN pleaded guilty on September 17, 2015.

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.

 

Defendant Information:                                                                                                                     

ABDULLAHI YUSUF, 20

Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Convicted:

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

Sentenced:

  • Time already served
  • 20 years of supervised release

 

ABDIRIZAK WARSAME, 21

Eagan, Minn.

Convicted:

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

Sentenced:

  • 30 months in prison
  • 20 years of supervised release

 

ZACHARIA ABDURAHMAN, 21

Columbia Heights, Minn.

Convicted:

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

Sentenced:

  • 10 years in prison
  • 20 years of supervised release

     

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

 

Updated November 14, 2016