MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) —A jury of five men and seven women have begun deliberating in the terror trial of three young Twin Cities men accused of trying to join ISIS.
The jury got the case at Wednesday afternoon following the closing arguments by the prosecution and the attorney of 21-year-old Guled Ali Omar. Defense attorneys for 22-year-old Abdirahman Yasin Daud and 22-year-old Mohamed Abdihamid told jurors Tuesday that their clients were not part of a conspiracy.
A federal prosecutor argued the three defendants were intent in their efforts to join the Islamic State group in Syria and knew they would be killing people once they got there.
The three have pleaded not guilty to several charges. The most serious is conspiracy to commit murder outside the United States, which carries the possibility of life in prison.
The three defendants are also all charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a terror group and attempting to provide material support. Those crimes carry maximum sentences of 15 and 20 years.
Moreover, Daud is additionally charged with perjury, Farah is charged with making false statements to FBI agents, and Omar is charged with student loan fraud.
The three cooperating witnesses in the case — Abdullahi Yusuf, Abdirahman Bashir and Abdirizak Warsame — all testified that the defendants knew they were going to travel to Syria to kill for ISIS.
The prosecution on Wednesday urged jurors to listen to the secret recordings made by Bashir, who has been paid $119,000 by the FBI for his work. On the other hand, the defense once again argued that the recordings amount to youthful one-upmanship.
“In whose world don’t teenage boys brag, boast, make stupid pronouncements and say things they really don’t mean?” said Omar’s attorney, Glenn Bruder.
Bruder also made an impassioned plea to jurors to not base their verdict on what he called “the elephant in the room” — the fear of terrorism.
Jurors have been shown brutal ISIS execution videos that the defendants all watched.
Prosecutor Julie Allyn, in her closing argument, told the jury: “These are not children, they are grown men, they chose ISIL.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)