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Somali-American to plead guilty to trying to help Islamic State

Somali-American to plead guilty to trying to help Islamic State
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A Somali-American man from Minnesota is expected to plead guilty in connection with a federal investigation into recruiting of young people by Islamic State militants, according to a filing in US federal court on Wednesday.

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A Somali-American man from Minnesota is expected to plead guilty in connection with a federal investigation into recruiting of young people by Islamic State militants, according to a filing in US federal court on Wednesday.


Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman is scheduled to appear in court in Minneapolis at midday on Thursday for a change-of-plea hearing and would become the second defendant in the case to enter a guilty plea in September. It was unclear what the plea would cover.

Hanad Musse, 19, pleaded guilty last week before US District Judge Michael Davis to conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State. Abdurahman's hearing is also scheduled before Davis.

Abdurahman and Musse are part of a larger group of Somali-American friends and relatives, all US citizens, who federal prosecutors have said were conspiring to leave the United States and join the militant group.

Abdurahman and the others were indicted in May on charges of conspiracy to support Islamic State and attempting to provide material support to the group. All have been held in custody since their arrests. A trial is scheduled for February.

Abdurahman, Musse and two other men were accused of taking a bus to New York in November 2014 to catch international flights to join Islamic State. Abdurahman and Musse were scheduled to fly on the same flight to Athens, Greece, where, prosecutors said, they would make their way to Syria.

Federal agents stopped all four men from taking the flights from John F Kennedy International Airport.

Dozens of people from Minnesota, many of them young Somali-American men, have travelled or attempted to travel overseas to support Islamic State or al Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant group, since 2007, according to US prosecutors.
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