MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - There have now been 10 young Somali-American men from Minnesota charged with attempting to join ISIS. The latest, 20-year-old Abdirizak Warsame of Eagan, Minn., was arrested Wednesday night and made his first court appearance Thursday morning in Minneapolis.
Warsame's family and friends cried in court during his arraignment, while he smiled and waved back. Warsame's next court date is Dec. 15. He has been assigned a public defender, and federal prosecutors have requested more time to prepare for the case.
Investigators say Warsame and 9 others planned to travel to Syria last year and fight with the terrorists. The criminal complaint alleges that, at one point, Warsame was the leader of this group.
The FBI believes Warsame had been planning to leave the United States for Syria in the spring of 2014 but his passport application was denied. More recently, he had been discussing plans to travel to Syria from Somalia in 2015, according to the complaint.
Five other suspects from Minnesota are scheduled to stand trial in May, facing life in prison. Three others already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Authorities say the 9th suspect is in Syria. In the past 10 years, dozens of young Minnesota men have left to join terror groups overseas, including al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Warsame worked as a security guard for Securitas, earning $13 per hour. He told the judge he has no vehicle and no money in savings that would make him a flight risk.