By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A brief testimony from the sister of a known ISIS fighter on Tuesday underscored one of the key prosecution points in the terror trial of three young Somali-Americans from Minnesota — that the defendants all tried their hardest to join the fighter in Syria.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, have argued that the defendants — Mohammed Farah, 22, Abdirahman Daud, 22, and Guled Omar, 21 — were more talk than action.

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But prosecutors say Abdi Nur, a known ISIS fighter, is proof that the defendants all wanted to make it to Syria and fight for ISIS.

Despite being under FBI surveillance, Nur managed to board a flight out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in late May of 2014.

In tearful testimony on Tuesday, Nur’s sister, Ifrah, said that in June of 2014 her brother reached out to her from Syria on the social messaging service Kik and told her where he was.

Ifrah Nur testified that her brother said he wasn’t coming back.

“Clearly, he was ready to die,” she said. “He said he would see me in the afterlife.”

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An FBI agent testified that while Nur was in Syria he used his Facebook and Twitter account to encourage others — including the three charged — to come to Syria and join him in jihad.

The agent testified that many of Nur’s tweets parroted ISIS propaganda.

The agent also testified that Nur was in regular contact via social media with another infamous Minnesota fugitive, Mujahid Miski, who left the state in 2008 to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Nur’s Twitter account made it clear that he was directly involved in ISIS battles. Defense attorneys for two defendants — Mohamed Farah and Abdirahman Daud — pointed out that the Nur had no contact with their clients

A third defendant, Guled Omar, was in contact with Nur on social media, but his defense attorney pointed out that hundreds of other people also were.

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It is not clear what happened to Nur. His sister wept in court as she testified she did not know if he was alive or dead.

Esme Murphy