Feds Arrest 'Emir' of ISIS-Related Recruitment Effort in Minnesota

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Federal authorities have arrested a Minnesota man for allegedly leading an effort inside the United States to send others to join ISIS in Syria.

Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame was arrested Wednesday night and charged with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

He is among at least 10 youth from Minnesota who allegedly began planning to join ISIS more than a year ago. Nine have now been arrested, and one -- 18-year-old Abdi Nir -- made it to Syria, where since May 2014 he has been recruiting and assisting others inside the United States to join ISIS, authorities said.

Warsame's arrest comes several months after a round of arrests in the case.

According to charging documents, Warsame and others began watching propaganda videos together in the spring of 2014, when they also began talking about how to get to Syria.

At one point, when one of the leaders of the group was planning to leave for Syria imminently, Warsame was appointed "emir" of the effort, and he subsequently began encouraging and helping others plan to join ISIS, according to charging documents.

In fact, Warsame and Nur considered robbing people to pay for travel to Syria, but Nur rejected the idea and said they should steal from the government instead, prosecutors allege.

Warsame called Nur "a genius," charging documents say.

In addition, the documents say Nur described risks involved in the entire effort this way to Warsame: "It's like playing a game of chess, bro. One thing you move you can be in danger, or you could win."

Warsame is one of nearly 90 people from inside the United States identified by U.S. authorities as having been inspired to take some sort of action on behalf of ISIS.

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