MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the Minnesota men accused of planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS is expected to plead guilty to terror charges.
Federal court records show that change of plea notice was filed for Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman. WCCO’s Esme Murphy confirmed he plans to plead guilty on Thursday.
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 a FBI informant just weeks before the April arrests of the Minnesota suspects.
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.
Earlier this month, Hanad Musse pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. Two other counts, including one accusing him of using federal student loan money to finance his trip to Syria, were dropped.
The identity of the FBI informant will be released in January, in advance of the trial for the others accused, which is expected to begin in February.