Minn. teen pleads guilty to trying to support terrorism
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota teenager who had been stopped at the airport as he was trying to travel to Syria pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Abdullahi Mohamud Yusuf, 18, admitted in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis that he had intended to go to Syria last May to join the Islamic State group. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. No sentencing date has been set.
Authorities say a handful of Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to fight with militants in the last year. At least one Minnesotan has died there. In addition, at least 22 young Somali men have traveled from Minnesota to Somalia since 2007 to join the terrorist group al-Shabab.
Yusuf admitted in court that he learned about people who had traveled or wanted to travel to Syria to fight against the regime of President Bashar Assad. Yusuf said he attended meetings in Minnesota last March and April in which participants discussed fighting.