MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man says he was not planning an attack when police allegedly found a weapons arsenal in a car.
Only on WCCO, Majid Alrifahe spoke out about the investigation that is getting attention across the country.
WCCO-TV asked Alrifahe if he was planning a terrorist attack.
“No, never, negative,” Alrifahe said.
Minneapolis police say they discovered bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition in a car carrying Majid and his brother, Abdullah, earlier this month.
Homeland Security and the FBI are now involved in the case.
Alrifahe fielded all of our questions, but provided few answers. He says he was born in Baghdad, grew up in Texas, and has lived in Minneapolis on and off for the last 10 years.
“Honestly, I know that myself I’m not a terrorist, and I don’t even like saying that word,” Alrifahe said.
The 26-year-old told WCCO-TV he is shaken by all the attention his arrest has received.
“We went from littering to a big problem as you see,” he said.
It was two weeks ago when police say a man walked by a car in north Minneapolis. He confronted two brothers after they tossed some wrappers out. Police were flagged down by that good Samaritan.
A search of their car yielded a hand grenade, a loaded AK-47, several magazines and more ammo.
Alrifahe told WCCO-TV none of the weapons were his.
“They had the [auto] title wrong,” Alrifahe said. “I don’t know what’s going on, so that’s why I’m here to figure this out,” he said.
He pleaded not guilty in court Friday to the misdemeanor charges against him. His brother, Abdullah, remains behind bars. He is charged with a felony for possessing a firearm without a permit.
Jack Rice, a former CIA case officer, knows that the investigation will focus on where those weapons came from to see if some kind of cell is at work.
“We’re looking at relatively simple charges, but the investigation that’s taking place is really the big takeaway right now,” Rice said.
He says this case is far from over.
“They’re trying to understand is this simply the front end of something much, much bigger,” Rice said. “And they need to know that. We all need to know that.”
Both brothers will be back in court in their separate cases next month.
The FBI says it has no comment on the case. Minneapolis Police told WCCO-TV the case remains open.