A 20-year-old Eagan man will spend the holidays in federal custody waiting to stand trial next year on a charge of supporting ISIL.

Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame was arrested almost two weeks ago on an allegation that he had a leading role among a group of friends who talked about traveling to Syria to help the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The complaint alleges that he talked about going to Syria, encouraged others to go, put them in contact with ISIL and provided $200 to help one man get an expedited passport.

Warsame had a hearing Tuesday before a federal magistrate, who determined that there was probable cause to send the case to a grand jury and that he would remain jailed pending trial.

Defense attorney Robert Sicoli noted that the incidents mentioned in the complaint against Warsame happened at least eight months ago.

Warsame was issued a U.S. passport in August 2014 but has not purchased flight tickets or made an effort to travel, Sicoli said.

Warsame worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport handling baggage from April to August in 2014. Sicoli asked FBI special agent Daniel Higgins whether there was evidence Warsame did anything suspect during that time, and Higgins said no.

Sicoli argued that Warsame’s family has been working with federal agents to prevent terrorism and that “most of the evidence against the defendant is words. … It isn’t fair, he deserves to be released.”

But Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson wasn’t persuaded.

Warsame’s arrest in early December led to the subsequent arrest of 20-year-old Khaalid Abdulkadir, a Somali-American who lives in south Minneapolis and allegedly sent threatening tweets about federal agents and a judge because of Warsame’s detention.


Twitter: @rochelleolson