Former San Diego man accused of supporting ISIS appears in court

SAN DIEGO — A former San Diego man accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS made his initial court appearance Friday.

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi, 34, currently of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is charged with providing support to ISIS, which allegedly involved him providing personnel and money to those engaged in terrorist activities in Syria.

Abdullahi is accused of facilitating the travel of at least three Canadians and two Americans to Syria to fight for ISIS, all of whom were later killed fighting for the terrorist group, including Douglas McCain, a former San Diego man who was killed in Syria in 2014. McCain is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die while fighting for the terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say Abdullahi at least partly financed these activities by robbing a jewelry store in Edmonton and encouraged others to commit crimes against the kuffar — or infidels or nonbelievers — in order to fund terrorist activities. He also allegedly wired money overseas to support those “fighting and engaging in terrorist activity in Syria, including the killing, kidnapping and maiming of persons.”

A grand jury returned an indictment charging Abdullahi in 2017 and he was arrested about six months later by Canadian authorities.

Abdullahi was extradited to the United States on Thursday.

“Terrorist networks like ISIS cannot exist without supporters,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “Protecting Americans from terrorist is our highest priority and we will work hard to bring justice to those who provide material support to foreign terror organizations.”

Abdullahi is next due in San Diego federal court Tuesday for a detention hearing.

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