Another Minnesota man pleads guilty in Islamic State case

AP News
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Posted: Apr 25, 2016 6:01 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Another Minnesota man pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Hamza Naj Ahmed, 21, changed his plea in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. He had been scheduled to go on trial with three other men next month.

Ahmed's plea comes 11 days after another defendant, Adnan Abdihamid Farah, accepted a plea deal, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1NueJPy ) reported.

Ahmed pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and to financial aid fraud. The college student was accused of using a $2,700 school loan to try to join the Islamic State.

Prosecutors will move to dismiss the remaining charges, including conspiracy to murder outside the United States, at Ahmed's sentencing, for which a date has not been set. He faces up to 15 years in prison on the conspiracy to provide material support charge and up to five years on the financial aid fraud charge but avoided a possible life sentence with his plea.

Six defendants have now pleaded guilty. A tenth man is at large, believed to be in Syria.

The three remaining defendants — Guled Ali Omar, Mohamed Abdihamid Farah and Abdirahman Yasin Daud — have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to go on trial May 9.

The FBI has said about a dozen people have left Minnesota to join militant groups fighting in Syria in recent years. In addition, since 2007 more than 22 men have joined al-Shabab in Somalia.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com