MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The last of seven co-conspirators accused of answering the call to join the foreign terror group ISIL will remain in jail pending trial.
Family and friends packed into a federal courtroom in Minneapolis Thursday in a show of support, hoping for a different outcome.READ MORE: Enbridge Energy: Pierced Aquifer Near Minnesota Section Of Oil Pipeline Fixed
But Chief Judge Michael Davis ordered 21-year-old Mohamed Farah held without bail, saying there are no conditions to prevent his risk of flight or to assure the public’s safety.
The 21-year-old is among seven young Somali-American men from the Twin Cities who stand accused of conspiring to flee the country and join ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State. One was arrested in February 2015 and the other six back in April.
Arguing against release, prosecutor Andrew Winter told Davis that Farah “sought for a year or better to join ISIL.”
Farah was stopped April 19 in San Diego after getting a fake passport, along with co-defendant Abdirahmnan Daud.
Farah was also recorded several times by a confidential source. He’s heard telling the informant that his family knew of his plans. However, more damaging to his case seems to be Farah’s apparent threats against three FBI agents.
At one point in the transcribed recordings he is heard saying, “I’m going to kill the one who punks me.”READ MORE: Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing 2 Speedway Gas Stations, Super 8 Hotel
Among the supporters in court was Twin Cities Imam, Hassan Mohamud, with the Dawah Institute of Minnesota.
“The parents told me that they knew nothing about any plan that their kids will join any designated terrorist group,” Mohamud said.
Farah’s Defense Attorney, Patrick Nwaneri, said Farah has the support of the Somali community and told the judge he is not a flight risk. Nwaneri added that any threats made by Farah were spoken out of his frustration for being under surveillance.
In the end, Davis rejected bail under any conditions.
“Coming into court as counsel for the defendant, I was expecting defendant to be released on bond,” said Nwaneri after the judge’s decision. “But as an officer of court, I have to abide and respect the decision of the court.”
The order for detention can be revisited after the judge considers everything in the record. That will include personal letters sent as part of a Somali community plan to provide for care, shelter and monitoring of the seven young men.
However, Davis made it quite clear that there’s nothing to this point that would rebut the evidence in support of detention.MORE NEWS: Brennon Sayers Pleads Guilty To Shooting 2 Men On Red Lake Reservation
Farah’s next motions hearing is set for July 28.