Somalia:Judge orders four Minnesota boys terror suspects held until trial+Photos

Members of Minnesota's Somali community cross a St. Paul, Minn. street Thursday, April 23, 2015, on their way to attend a detention hearing in federal court for four of the six Minnesotans
Members of Minnesota’s Somali community cross a St. Paul, Minn. street Thursday, April 23, 2015, on their way to attend a detention hearing in federal court for four of the six Minnesotans who are accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the four Minnesota men arrested this week will be held until they can be tried on charges that they planned to leave the Twin Cities to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIL, overseas Midnimo.com reported on Thursday evening 23 April 2015.

In the morning, after nearly three hours of testimony from an FBI agent, U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson said officials have gathered substantial evidence against the men.

Attorneys for the men argued that officials had built a thin case primarily on the testimony of another man who eventually served as a paid confidential informant. They had asked the judge to allow the men to be freed, with electronic monitoring, or sent to a halfway house.

Defense attorneys also said the informant lied to FBI agents about the extent of his involvement. The government conceded this, but added that some of his information was verified through surveillance.

An FBI agent testified that the informant had been working with authorities since the start of 2015 and has been paid $12,725.54.

More than 200 supporters of the men packed a federal courtroom in St. Paul and a nearby overflow room. Outside the courthouse before the hearing, the mother of one of the suspects handed out T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Free Our Boys” and a picture of several of the men.

The four men were arrested Sunday in the Twin Cities, while two others were arrested the same day in San Diego, on their way to Mexico and a planned flight overseas. Federal authorities say they intended to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Adnan Abdihamid Farah, Hanad Mustafe Musse and Guled Ali Omar are charged with conspiracy to aid and support a terrorist organization. All are between the ages of 19 and 21.

Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19. Musse is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group,
Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19. Musse is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent

Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19. Musse is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, which has carried out a host of attacks including beheading Americans

Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19. Abdurahman is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group,
Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19. Abdurahman is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent

Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19. Abdurahman is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, which has carried out a host of attacks including beheading Americans.

Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19. Farah is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint
Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19. Farah is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent

Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19. Farah is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, which has carried out a host of attacks including beheading Americans.

Guled Ali Omar
Guled Ali Omar 20.Omar is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent

Guled Ali Omar 20.Omar is among six Minnesota men of Somali descent that have been charged in a criminal complaint with traveling or attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, which has carried out a host of attacks including beheading Americans.

Members of Minnesota's Somali community arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court at the Warren E Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn.
Members of Minnesota’s Somali community arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court at the Warren E Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn

Members of Minnesota’s Somali community arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court at the Warren E Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn. for four of the six Minnesotans who are accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. Prosecutors have said they plan to ask a judge to keep the men in custody pending trial, saying they are a flight risk

In San Diego, similar hearings are scheduled Thursday for Abdirahman Yasin Daud and Friday for Mohamed Abdihamid Farah. A hearing to decide if they should be sent back to Minnesota for court proceedings will be held next week.

A prosecutor said the family of an informant who was a friend of the young men was getting threatening phone calls and tweets.

He added that these threats weren’t necessarily from the defendants’ families, but would be “intently” investigated.

People walk into the United States Courthouse ahead of the detention hearings for six young Somali-Americans  on Thursday, April 23, 2015.
Members of Minnesota’s Somali community

Friends of the men posted messages on Twitter, urging supporters to rally on Thursday. Several expressed outrage about the arrests — and at the notion that a friend of the group had turned federal informant. Evidence gathered by investigators included several secretly recorded conversations.

In documents filed with the criminal complaint, authorities say the young men worked together to get passports, make travel plans and make their way to Syria.

Special correspondent Ahmed Mooge in Mogadishu contributed to this report.

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Members of Minnesota's Somali community cover their faces as they arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul, Minn
Somali women community cover their faces as they arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul, Min
Members of Minnesota's Somali community cover their faces as they arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul, Minn2
3 Somali women community cover their faces as they arrive Thursday, April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul, Min

 

 

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