Terror Suspect’s Brother Barred From Courthouse

     (CN) — The brother of an alleged Islamic State recruit cannot enter the federal courthouse in Minneapolis because he tried to bring in scissors and photographed the elevators, a federal judge ruled.
     The criminal complaint behind the ruling was filed by the FBI in April following a nearly-year-long investigation of several men, aged 18 to 24, who allegedly joined or tried to join terrorist organizations in Syria.
     One who managed to get to Syria, Abdi Nur, has been charged criminally and yet continues to recruit Minnesota residents who want to join him to fight overseas, the complaint states.
     The complaint names six individuals the FBI says conspired since March 2014, to provide material support and resources, including personnel, to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, knowing that it was a designated foreign terrorist organization.
     Those defendants are Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, Adnan Abdihamid Farah, Abdurahman Yasin Daud, Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Hanad Mustafe Musse, and Guled Ali Omar.
     A confidential human source allegedly informed the FBI that in 2014, he, Omar, and another individual planned to drive from Minnesota to California, and then each go to Syria separately.
     The FBI says bank records show that Omar withdrew $6,200 in cash, emptying his federal student financial aid account and personal account, in the weeks leading up to the trip.
     But when Omar’s family confronted him, the trio abandoned their plan.
     Later that year, the FBI barred Omar from flying to California, the complaint states.
     The complaint cites many conversations the confidential source had with the defendants, including one in March 2015 where Mohamad Farah said “the American identity is dead.”
     “Even if I get caught … I’m through with America,” Farah allegedly said, adding. “Burn my ID.”
     The government moved to disqualify Hassan Mohamud, a law clerk for one of Farah’s then-attorneys, P. Chinedu Nwaneri, on March 25, 2016.
     Prosecutors submitted a photo showing Mohamud is Sheik Hassan Jami, the Imam of a St. Paul mosque, who allegedly told a cooperating defendant how jihadists pray on a battlefield.
     U.S. District Judge Michael Davis allowed Nwaneri to withdraw as counsel, and barred Mohamud from helping defend Farah, April 5.
     On Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim issued the case’s latest ruling, which says on May 12, 2016, Khadar Ali Omar, the brother of defendant Guled Ali Omar, “attempted to bring a six-inch pair of scissors into the courthouse after he was informed by court security that the scissors were prohibited inside the courthouse.”
     Khadar was also “observed on the courthouse security cameras taking pictures of the courthouse public elevators, and when confronted by court security, Mr. Omar turned over a second phone in order to conceal the actual phone that was used to take pictures.
     “Based on the above, the court will exercise its authority to maintain public safety within the courthouse and during the trial in the above matter and bar Khadar Ali Omar from the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis for the remainder of the trial in the above matter,” Tunheim wrote.
     Adnan Farah’s attorney, Kenneth Udoibok, said “The court is very measured in its order, considering the fact that Mr. Khadar Ali Omar tried to conceal the actual phone that he used to take the pictures. What a troubling behavior.”
     Abdurahman’s Minneapolis-based attorney, Jon Hopeman with Felhaber Larson, said “The dumbass should have never brought scissors into the courthouse.”
      Ben Petok, spokesman for the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Farah’s attorney, Murad Mohammad with Murad Defense in Minneapolis, declined to comment on the case.
      Minneapolis-based attorneys Bruce Nestor with De Leon & Nestor for Daud, as well as Andrew Birrell, Ian Birrell, and Paul Dworak with Gaskins Bennett Birrell Schupp for Musse, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
     Nor did Guled Ali Omar’s attorney, Glenn Bruder with Mitchell Bruder & Johnson in Edina, Minnesota.

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