Eagan, MN (KSTP TV) – A 20-year-old Somali-American from Eagan was arrested by the FBI Wednesday night on charges of supplying material support to terrorists in Syria and Iraq, according to federal authorities and court documents.
Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame was taken into custody by agents without incident at about 7 p.m.
Warsame aided several previously charged Twin Cities men in their attempts to leave the U.S. to fight for ISIS in Syria, according to a criminal complaint filed earlier Wednesday.
According to the complaint, in April 2014, several men began conspiring to travel to Syria to join, and fight with, ISIS. Nine of those men, not including Warsame, have so far been charged. Three have pleaded guilty and five are scheduled to begin trial in May. One man is in Syria.
Warsame allegedly worked closely with Guled Omar, another leader within the group who was elected as their emir, court documents show. Omar is one of the previously indicted men awaiting trial.
In secretly recorded conversations taped in April by an informant, Warsame and Omar discussed robbing people in order to finance their travel to Syria, according to the court filing.
A friend who was fighting in Syria relayed back that the group shouldn’t pursue that plan and instead suggested that they should find ways to rob the government in order to fund the trip.
Warsame also tried to keep Omar from becoming depressed following his repeated failed attempts to leave the U.S. over the last several years.
“Could it be maybe this time if you still go, maybe Allah will see you as somebody who is – keeps trying and will probably allow you to go . . . you should try it, just be smart about it. Don’t be dumb. And know that every move you make, every thought, every single step you take . . . cuz it’s like playing a game of chess, bro. … you can be in danger, or you could win. And that everything comes with its consequences.”
Warsame encouraged Omar to continue his efforts to travel overseas to join the terrorist organization.
“You will give a hundred and–a thousand people … conviction that anybody can do it.”
Omar’s older brother, Ali Ahmed Omar, is on the FBI’s most wanted list of Minnesotans who are charged with supporting terrorism by fighting for the terrorist organization al-Shabaab in Somalia. Ali Omar was a paramedic who decided to leave Minnesota in 2007 to fight with the terror group, according to federal authorities.
Warsame also spoke with Mohamed Farah, another member within the group, about his plan to travel to Syria from Somalia. Warsame said he might not have to travel to Syria if the terrorist organization al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to ISIS because the group would then have a presence in Somalia.
In their conversation, Farah mentioned wanting to contact Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, also known as “Miski.” Hassan is one of the FBI’s nine most wanted terror fugitives from Minnesota and is charged with providing support to terrorist organizations. He was federally indicted by a grand jury in Minnesota in 2009 and is accused of leaving Minneapolis to join al-Shabaab the year before his indictment. KSTP reported earlier this week that he surrendered to authorities in Somalia Nov. 6.
“I want to ask Miski, yo, when they (al-Shabaab) gonna give (allegiance) … I’m going to ask him soon,” Farah said.
Warsame also mentioned that he wanted to go to Somalia to meet up with Hassan, a former student at Roosevelt High School in U.S. District Court in St. Paul Thursday afternoon.