Six men in Minnesota’s large Somali community have been sentenced this week for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, including three on Tuesday.
Adnan Farah, 20, and Hanad Musse, 21, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison, while Hamza Ahmed, 21, will serve 15 years for that count in addition financial aid fraud, according to a Justice Department press release issued Monday evening. All three young men will also be under supervised release for 20 years following their release.
Minnesota prosecutors went after nine men they say were part of a larger group of friends who had recruited one another to joining the Islamic State. A few of the men made it overseas to Syria where they joined the terrorist group, but FBI agents were able to arrest the nine in separate busts leading to their anticipated departure from the U.S.
Three others were sentenced on Monday. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis applauded two of them for their cooperation with authorities and granted them lighter sentences than their comrades. Farah, Musse, Ahmed and the other man sentenced Monday pleaded guilty, but did not work with authorities in the case, prompting the judge to give them a harsher punishment.
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The final three, who were convicted on conspiracy to commit murder outside the U.S., will appear in court on Wednesday. They face a possible life sentence, though prosecutors have asked for 30 to 40 years.
In November 2014, Musse, Ahmed and two other men traveled by Greyhound bus from Minneapolis to New York, where they had planned to fly from JFK Airport on Long Island to the Middle East. Federal authorities nabbed the four prior to their boarding the flight.
Davis said the state has a terrorism radicalization problem, especially in Somali communities where many of the cases have blossomed out of in recent years due to the Islamic State’s heavy recruitment there. Approximately 12 people have fled Minnesota to join terrorist groups in Syria over the past few years.