UPDATED: Minnesota Terror Suspects Arrested
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Six people were arrested Sunday in connection with a terrorism investigation in Minnesota, where authorities have been tracking youths who have traveled or tried to travel to Syria to fight with militants, including the Islamic State group, authorities said.
A criminal complaint unsealed Monday charges the men with conspiring to provide and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
The complaint says the men sought to reach countries near Syria by flying from the airports in San Diego and New York City, but were stopped.
The complaint names Mohamed Farah, Adnan Farah, Abdirahman Daud, Guled Omar, Hanad Musse and Zacharia Abdurahman. It alleges they were in contact with another Minnesota man, Abdi Nur, who has worked to recruit Western fighters.
Authorities say a handful of Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to fight with militants within the last year. At least one Minnesotan has died while fighting for the Islamic State.
Since 2007, more than 22 young Somali men have also traveled from Minnesota to Somalia to join the militant group al-Shabab.
Four Minnesotans have already been charged in connection with supporting terror groups in Syria, including the Islamic State group.
One man, 19-year-old Hamza Ahmed, had been stopped at a New York City airport in November as he and three others were attempting to travel to Syria. Ahmed has been indicted on charges of lying to the FBI during a terrorism investigation, conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group, and attempting to provide material support. He has pleaded not guilty.
But there have been no public charges filed against his three companions, and little information had been released about them. An FBI affidavit said they are all between the ages of 19 and 20 and live in the Twin Cities.