A 19-year-old Somali-American man was arrested and charged Fridaywith posting threats against federal agents on Twitter after the arrest of his friend on charges of conspiring to fight for Islamic extremists in Syria.
Khaalid Abdulkadir of Minneapolis was escorted into court under heavy security and appeared briefly in front of U.S. District Court Judge Becky Thorson on Friday. After he is assigned a public defender, there will be a hearing to determine whether he will be held in custody pending a trial.
Before the hearing started in the federal courthouse in Minneapolis, Abdulkadir turned and nodded to a half-dozen friends sitting behind him in the second row of spectators. He had been apprehended just hours before and was still wearing a dark sweatshirt and saggy jeans. He told Thorson that he earns $1,200 monthly at a job he didn’t identify.
The complaint against him follows on the heels of Wednesday’s arrest of Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame of Eagan on charges of conspiring to support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Within hours, Abdulkadir allegedly tweeted from @kabdulkadir14: “More brother get locked up the cops body they will find on the floor body’s dropping fast #kill them FBI and (expletive) as judge.”
The complaint said Abdulkadir is using Twitter to impede, intimidate and interfere with official FBI duties and retaliate against federal officers.
The complaint also mentions Abdulkadir’s direct contacts with other indicted men from the Twin Cities Somali-American community, some of whom are overseas.
Contact with fugitives
The affidavit supporting the complaint, signed by the same agent investigating Warsame, said that earlier this year Abdulkadir had contacted with Mohamed “Miski” Abdullahi Hassan, who was charged in 2009 with conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organization.
In January 2015, a direct message from Abdulkadir’s account to Hassan in Syria said, “Brother I’m trying to make moves and I have no connection so what’s the deal brother?” Hassan advised him to get to Turkey and that he would get help there.
Hassan left Minnesota in 2008, according to the FBI. The U.S. State Department reported this week that he turned himself in to Somali authorities in November.
Abdulkadir also reached out to Abdi Nur in May through a Facebook account, the affidavit said. Nur left Minnesota in May 2014 to travel to Syria and fight with ISIL, the complaint said.
Abdulkadir told Nur he missed him and said that he and a friend, who wasn’t named in the affidavit, “need help as we could so we chill with you as soon as possible.” He added, “We got the money in cash and plan doing something with it so help bro.”
The FBI viewed the messages as “an aspiration on the part of Abdulkadir to travel to Syria to be with Nur, who was at the time of these messages fighting on behalf of ISIL.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said: “While there are many legitimate means in the United States to voice dissent and difference of opinion with our government, threatening violent retaliation against federal agents is both illegal and outrageous.
“My office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who threaten to kill federal officials who work on behalf of all Americans.”
The next court hearing for Warsame, 20, is scheduled for 3 p.m. Dec. 22, before U.S. District Judge Becky Thorson. Criminal defense attorney Robert Sicoli has been appointed to represent him.