MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities terror suspect who once worked at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport told another suspect he had the ability to build rockets that could take down planes at 2,000 feet.
That testimony came from an FBI agent during a hearing on Tuesday for Abdirizak Warsame. It’s to determine whether he should remain in jail pending the outcome of his case.
Warsame was arrested earlier this month and is the 10th young Minnesotan to be charged in the last year with trying to join ISIS.
FBI Agent Daniel Higgins testified that in April of 2015, Abdirizak Warsame boasted to terror suspect Guled Omar that he had the ability to build homemade rockets that could take down planes that were descending at an elevation of 2,000 feet. The conversation was secretly recorded by a government informant as the young men walked around Lake Nokomis as planes could be heard flying overhead.
Agent Higgins also testified Warsame worked as a baggage handler at MSP Airport from April to August of 2014.The agent said Warsame was at one point a leader, or Emir, of a group of friends who plotted for more than a year to leave the country to travel to Syria to join ISIS. The agent testified Warsame supplied members of the group with phone numbers of ISIS fighters, including one member of the group who ended up dying in Syria.
The agent also testified that Warsame provided another terror suspect, Adnan Farah, with $200 to obtain a fake passport. Warsame’s defense attorney argued Warsame was all talk and that even though he obtained a passport in August of 2014, unlike others in the group, he never made an attempt to leave the country.
Under questioning from the defense, the FBI agent testified there was no evidence that Warsame had rockets capable of shooting down planes. In the end, a Magistrate Becky Thorson ruled that Warsame posed a flight risk and is a danger to the community.
And she ruled that he should remain in jail for now.
Metropolitan Airports Commission Spokesperson Pat Hogan told us that Warsame actually worked at the Airport for a longer period. Hogan said Warsame had a security badge to work on de-icing from December 2013 to April 2014, and that from April 2014 through August 2014, he had a security badge to work for Swissport, a baggage and cargo handling company at the airport.