MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Three young Minnesota men found guilty of trying to join ISIS will spend decades behind bars.
Judge Michael Davis sentenced Mohamed Farrah and Abdirahman Daud to 30 years in prison with supervised release for life. The Judge gave Guled Omar a 35 year sentence with supervised release for life.
The three men were the ones who went to trial and were convicted on all counts including conspiracy to travel overseas to commit murder for ISIS. The long sentences were met with tears and angry protests from friends and family.
After the final defendant was sentenced, reporters and photographers were told that family members would speak to the media outside the courthouse, but were blocked and shoved by young supporters of the defendants. Finally Ayan Farrah, whose sons Mohamed and Adnan were both sentenced in the case, said there would be no family statement.
During Mohamed Farah’s sentencing Judge Michael Davis said, “You and your cell, lied, lied and deceived, deceived to go to the Islamic State.”
Farah, like the others, insisted he had changed, but Judge Davis clearly wasn’t buying it — pointing out that the three defendants had tried again and again, despite warnings from federal authorities, to make it Syria before they were finally arrested.
Abdirahman Daud tearfully apologized to the Judge saying “I lied and deceived everyone.” Daud confessed to the judge that his sole goal was to get to Syria and fight and kill for ISIS.
The judge’s toughest words were reserved for Guled Omar who was at one point the “emir,” or leader, of the group, and who was the only defendant who testified at trial insisting he was innocent.
Omar tearfully pleaded for leniency saying, “I am disgraced by every single word that came out of my mouth. I make no excuses they were horrible there were dangerous and they were stupid” Judge Davis fired back at Omar: “Everything you have said here I don’t believe.” Omar’s relatives sobbed in the courtroom.
In the course of three days, nine defendants were sentenced in the case. The lightest sentences of two and a half years and four and a half years went to defendants who not only plead guilty, but testified against their former friends.
The toughest sentences today were handed out to those who as the judge said repeatedly lied to everyone to keep their Minneapolis-based terror cell — and their dreams of joining ISIS — alive.