SAN DIEGO — Two Minnesota men arrested in San Diego over the weekend planned to cross into Mexico and fly to Syria to join the terrorist organization known as ISIS, investigators said Monday.
Abdirahman Yasin Daud and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, both 21, were arrested Sunday after allegedly driving from Minneapolis to San Diego to obtain fake passports so they could cross the border to Mexico and fly to Syria, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday. The two were part of a group of six friends and relatives from the Minnesota Somali-American community who had been conspiring for the last 10 months to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State organization by any means, authorities said at a news conference in Minneapolis.
Four other members of the conspiracy, were arrested in Minneapolis, Thornton said. They were identified in court documents as Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Adnan Farah, and Hanad Mustafe Musse, all 19, and Guled Ali Omar, 20.
“The six defendants charged in the complaint allegedly planned to travel to Syria as part of their conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said. ISIL is what the federal government calls ISIS.
“One of the National Security Division’s highest priorities is to identify, disrupt and hold accountable those who provide or attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations,” Carlin said.
Authorities originally learned of the conspiracy when one young man who was part of the group had a change of heart and alerted police, Thornton said.
“As described in the criminal complaint, these men worked over the course of the last 10 months to join ISIL,” U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said. “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.”