MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We are learning more about one of the six Minnesota men accused of trying to join ISIS.
The sister of 20-year-old Guled Omar spoke to WCCO Wednesday evening.
“I believe that my brother is innocent and that he didn’t do anything wrong,” Shukri Omar said.
Omar gathered with Somali community members at the Brian Coyle Center Wednesday to support the four men arrested in Minnesota. Two other Minnesotans were arrested on Sunday in San Diego.
Guled Omar was active on social media. In his Twitter feed, we found Omar threatened to sue the U.S. government after federal agents kept him from boarding a plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Guled is a 2013 graduate of Minneapolis South High School, and had been working as a security guard at Target Northern Campus HR Office in Brooklyn Park.
Federal agents kicked down the doors of the south Minneapolis home where he lives with his mother and five of his 13 siblings Sunday morning.
“They had a gun five-foot tall, my height, pointed at my face, so frightened,” Shukri said.
Shukri, 23, says her anger and that of other friends and family is now focused on a one-time friend of the young men who became an FBI informant.
“I feel like my brother got set up,” Shukri said. “My brother is not a terrorist.”
The informant’s recordings are the government’s strongest evidence against Omar and the others.
Omar posted on Twitter that he was leaving for a vacation in California on November 5, 2014.
One day later, he lashed out on Twitter saying he had been stopped from getting on a plane at MSP Airport.
“I committed no crime but I was denyed [sic] my flight to California today this because I am young Somali Muslim male!” Guled wrote.
In a series of five more tweets, he promised to sue the federal government.
Shukri’s sister says the fact he put it all on Twitter shows it was just a vacation.
“Just like any other American citizen, he has the right to go wherever he wants, and it’s not fair that he’s being accused,” she said.
But the indictment says Guled was later caught telling the informant on tape that the purpose of the trip was to leave the country to join ISIS.
He’s quoted as saying, “I was trying to get out right then and there,” and, “I had three friends lying for me.”
Defense attorney Jack Rice said “the more likely you can show that someone is talking out of both sides of their mouth, the more likely it is that you can convince a jury to trust nothing that he says.”
The rest of Guled’s Twitter feed makes no mention of ISIS. And while many of his posts reflect a strong devotion to his faith, just as many are about every day topics, like food and sports.
One of his last tweets is a picture of him with young relatives, saying his goal was to be a good role model.
The four men arrested in Minneapolis will all be in federal court in St. Paul at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.