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Minnesota man, 41, charged with aiding ISIS after ‘receiving military training at terror camp in Somalia and threatening to blow up New York’

A Minnesota man has been charged with supporting ISIS after receiving military training at a terror camp in Somalia. 

U.S citizen Harafa Hussein Abdi, 41, from Minneapolis was taken into custody overseas and transported to the United States on Thursday, the Justice Department announced. 

Messages from Abdi discovered by security services revealed a photograph of him holding an AK-47 assault rifle 

‘Mr. Abdi left his country to join ISIS, trained as a fighter and actively aided the group’s propaganda efforts to spread its vile ideology,’ Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said.

While training with ISIS fighters in Somalia, Abdi allegedly carried an AK-47 and threatened to attack civilians in New York City, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. 

Messages from Abdi discovered by security services revealed a photograph of him holding the assault rifle. 

Abdi reportedly worked in ISIS’ ‘media’ wing, where he filmed footage for distribution by a pro-ISIS media outlet. 

He also encouraged others to carry out such attacks by sending audio clips of him rapping about shooting and bombing individuals in New York, the unsealed criminal complaint alleges. 

‘Hollow tips put a hole in your Catholic vest, and chop his head off let it rest on his Catholic chest’ Abdi allegedly said in an audio clip about attacking New York City in January 2017. 

‘We going to carry on jihad, fly through America on our way to shoot New York up. 

‘They trying to shut this thing. We ain’t going. We going to come blow New York up’ he reportedly added. 

Abdi allegedly sent messages on social media, encouraging others to carry out acts of terror against the US.

In other social media communications he described how he had made ‘hijra,’ an Arabic term used by ISIS supporters to refer to traveling overseas to join ISIS and engage in jihad, criminal complaint states.

In one image on his social media page Abdi allegedly used a picture of flames rising from ab explosion, forming the shape of a hand with the index finger extended, a gesture commonly used by ISIS supporters.  

Abdi is believed to have fled the ISIS camp in 2017 after his relationship with the group’s leadership deteriorated. 

He was initially jailed by the group, but escaped and traveled to East Africa, where he was arrested by law enforcement authorities, the complaint against him states. 

Once in US custody Abdi admitted in an FBI interview that he had joined the training camp in Somalia, it added.

He also allegedly identified himself in a propaganda video that he helped to film at the training camp while carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, promoting ISIS and urging others to join and fight on its behalf.

Abdi is charged with conspiring to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization; conspiring to receive and receiving military-type training from a designated foreign terrorist organization. 

He faces up to fifty five years in prison. 

Source: Daily mail

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