A ring of Minnesota men allegedly plotting to join ISIS were arrested Sunday as part of a continued investigation into Minnesotans plotting to help terrorist groups.
Documents released Monday showed that the men were charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. According to the DOJ, at least nine Minnesotans — all alleged associates — have been charged as part of this conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL.
“As described in the criminal complaint, these men worked over the course of the last 10 months to join ISIL,” U.S. Attorney Luger said in a statement. “Even when their co-conspirators were caught and charged, they continued to seek new and creative ways to leave Minnesota to fight for a terror group.”
Minnesota, in part because of a large Islamic Somali population, has become an Islamic extremist recruiting ground and is a key target of the U.S anti terrorism recruitment efforts. The White house has selected the twin cities area for a pilot program to combat the radicalization of young people.
Authorities arrested Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19, Adnan Farah, 19, Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19, and Guled Ali Omar, 20, in Minneapolis Sunday. Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 21, and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21, were arrested the same day in California after driving from Minneapolis to San Diego.
The FBI indicated it would continue investigating potential extremists, and more arrests are likely to come.
In an interesting twist, the government is not the only one fighting radical recruitment in Minnesota. Mohamed Ahmed is a Somali-American gas station manager in Minneapolis who runs AverageMohamed.com, a site featuring short videos that combat extremist recruitment efforts.