6 Somali-Americans have been arrested after it was revealed that they were planning to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
6 Somali-Americans arrested attempting to join terrorist group
The defendants were identified as Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, Adnan Abdihamid Farah, Abdurahman Yasin Daud, Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, Hanad Mustafe Musse and Guled Ali Omar.
The group were charged with a conspiracy to support an armed group.
According to federal prosecutor Andrew Luger who addressed a news conference, the group were all from Minnesota and were all part of the same conspiracy.
He further revealed that the arrests were the result of a 10-month investigation by a joint task force.
Al Jazeera reports that the men who were all friends or acquaintances had attempted to travel to Syria over the past year, in what authorities described as a "peer-to-peer" recruitment effort.
They reportedly worked with the help of an acquaintance who had made it to the war-ravaged nation and was actively recruiting volunteers in Minnesota.
The justice department said four of the men were arrested on Sunday in Minneapolis, while two were arrested in San Diego, where they attempted to acquire forged passports and then cross into Mexico to travel to Syria.
Minneapolis, with its large Somali immigrant community, is a focal point for investigations on Americans seeking to join armed groups, even as several men aged between 18 - 24 have succeeded in traveling to Syria to help the terrorist group.
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