MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota terror suspect is recorded boasting he and his friends will never be de-radicalized.
The quotes come from a court document released ahead of a hearing Wednesday in which three suspects will ask a judge to free them before trial.
One of the suspects asking to be released is 19-year-old Zacharia Abdurahman.
The government says it recorded the teenager telling an ISIS fighter he and his Minnesota friends would be in Syria soon.
The quotes are from secret recordings made by an FBI informant just weeks before the April arrests of the Minnesota suspects.
Zacharia Abdurahman, 19, is quoted mocking the government’s efforts to de-radicalize another Minnesotan who pleaded guilty to helping ISIS. A judge had sent Abdullahi Yusuf to a halfway house instead of prison.
“Even if they give [Yusuf] time, it’s not going to be long,” Abdurahmen says in the recording, expressing incredulity that the government could change their beliefs: “With me, all of us, we’re hopeless. We’re not going to be in a program, bro. We will straight up serve [prison] time.”
Abdurahman and another suspect, Guled Omar, are also quoted in a March phone conversation with another friend, Abdi Nur, who is fighting for ISIS in Syria.
Nur left Minnesota last year and is credited with recruting not only the seven Minnesota suspects but countless others through social media.
Omar tells Nur the group of seven are “the hot boys on the block.”
Abdurahman then tells Nur, “We’re not too far, bro, we’re gonna be with you.”
Prosecutors say those quotes prove the suspects’ commitment to ISIS and show why the three asking to be released pending trial should stay in jail.
“It’s devastating to the defense,” criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino said.
Tamburino said the recordings make it unlikely that the three suspects will be released, either to their families or to a halfway house.
“The defendants are mocking the very program that could set them free from jail while they litigate their cases,” he said.
The three suspects asking to be freed have submitted plans that include electronic monitoring, mosque attendance and strict cell phone and Internet limits.
We’ll find out what the judge decides tomorrow.
That same judge sent the only teenager who was released back to prison.
Investigators say Abdullahi Yusuf had a box cutter under his bed at a halfway house.