nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Warsame (D. Minn.) (additional defendant in ISIL material support case)

December 10, 2015

From DOJ’s press release (see also attached complaint):

TENTH MINNESOTA MAN CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO ISIL

Three Co-Conspirators Have Already Pleaded Guilty; Five Expected to Go to Trial in May 2016

WASHINGTON – Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, 20, of Eagan, Minnesota, was charged by criminal complaint with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger of the District of Minnesota and Special Agent in Charge Richard T. Thornton of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division.

“Abdirizak Warsame conspired with others to travel to Syria to fight with ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Counterterrorism is the National Security Division’s highest priority, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and to bring to justice those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“This defendant is the 10th Twin Cities’ man charged as part of a broad conspiracy to provide material support to ISIL,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “The FBI and prosecutors in my office continue to work without pause to keep Minnesotans safe and bring these defendants to justice.”

“This arrest demonstrates the commitment to U.S. national security by the members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said Special Agent in Charge Thornton. “The members of this task force work in concert to ensure the protection of the United States and its citizens every day. These efforts will continue as long as threats persist.”

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, in spring 2014, Warsame and his co-conspirators began meeting to watch propaganda videos that glorified religious violence and to discuss their aspirations to travel to Syria to join ISIL. Members of the group, including Warsame, discussed ways to leave the United States and travel to Syria, despite the fact that law enforcement was intensely scrutinizing the group. At one such meeting, Guled Omar was elected “emir,” or leader, of the group. Later in 2014, when Omar was planning to depart for Syria, Omar appointed Warsame to replace him as emir for the remaining co-conspirators.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, during the same period, Warsame provided $200 to a co-conspirator, Adnan Farah, so that Farah could obtain an expedited U.S. passport to travel overseas to join ISIL. Warsame also applied for an expedited passport during this time, but his application was initially denied.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, Warsame repeatedly attempted to obtain a telephone number or other contact information of ISIL members, including ISIL member H.K. In June 2014, Warsame specifically attempted to obtain this contact information so that he could pass it along to Y.J., who was attempting to travel from Turkey to Syria to join ISIL.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, in April 2015, Warsame actively encouraged Omar and other co-conspirators to travel to Syria through Mexico, but did not plan to join their group because he was planning to travel with his family to East Africa. From East Africa, Warsame planned to either break free from his family and travel to Syria, or wait in Somalia for a time when, he believed, al-Shabaab would pledge allegiance to ISIL, thus expanding ISIL to Somalia.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, on April 2, 2015, Warsame recounted a conversation he had with Abdi Nur, before Nur left the United States for Syria. In that exchange, Warsame told Omar that he proposed to Nur that they rob people in order to finance their travel to Syria, which Nur rejected and suggested instead that they rob the government.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Minneapolis.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and John F. Docherty of the District of Minnesota and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Warsame Complaint.pdf


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Saadeh (D.N.J) (plea agreement in ISIL material support conspiracy case)

December 10, 2015

See the attached documents, plus the press release below:

WASHINGTON – A former resident of Bergen County, New Jersey, today admitted that he conspired to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey and Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel of the FBI’s Newark Division.

Nader Saadeh, 20, a former resident of Rutherford, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton of the District of New Jersey in Newark to an information charging him with one count of conspiring with others to provide material support to ISIL. He remains detained without bail.

“Nader Saadeh conspired with others, including his brother, to travel to Syria to join ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Counterterrorism is the National Security Division’s highest priority and we will continue to hold accountable those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Nader Saadeh is the last of the three defendants charged in the District of New Jersey in this case to admit his role in trying to provide material support to a known terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “ISIL is intent on threatening the safety of Americans here and abroad, and we and our law enforcement partners are just as intent on stopping them.”

“Today in the District Court of New Jersey Nader Saadeh admitted he conspired to provide material to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” said Special Agent in Charge Frankel. “He is one of three New Jersey men who conspired to travel overseas to join ISIL but were stopped by the outstanding work of the Newark FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. I ask the citizens of New Jersey to remain vigilant and contact the FBI if they see or hear something suspicious.”

According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:

Saadeh admitted that prior to his arrest on Aug. 10, 2015, by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), he planned to travel overseas to join ISIL along with others. Saadeh discussed his plans to join ISIL with his brother, Alaa Saadeh, Samuel Rahamin Topaz, Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni, and admitted that at various times each of them indicated that they wanted to join ISIL. Saadeh also admitted that he and these other men watched ISIL-related videos, some of which depicted the execution of individuals – both Muslim and non-Muslim – regarded by ISIL as enemies.

On May 5, 2015, Saadeh departed the United States with plans to travel overseas to join ISIL in furtherance of the conspiracy, according to his statements in court today. Saadeh admitted that once he reached ISIL-controlled territory he intended to fight on behalf of ISIL. Saadeh further admitted that Saleh assisted him by giving him a contact who would facilitate his travel from Turkey to ISIL in Syria.

Saadeh admitted that prior to his departure from the United States, Saleh showed him technical drawings for making homemade bombs. Saadeh further told the court that Saleh and Mumuni discussed plans to carry out an attack in ISIL’s name using homemade bombs at locations in New York City, including Times Square, the World Trade Center and Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, in Queens, New York.

Saadeh admitted knowing that ISIL was a designated foreign terrorist organization and was taking over territory overseas, expelling non-Muslims from their homes and executing individuals who did not obey ISIL’s commands.

The count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2016.

Saadeh’s alleged conspirators are being prosecuted and are currently in federal custody. On Sept. 9 and Oct. 29, 2015, respectively, Topaz and Alaa Saadeh pleaded guilty before Judge Wigenton to conspiring to provide material support to ISIL. Saleh and Mumuni have been indicted on terrorism-related charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York. The charges and allegations against Saleh and Mumuni are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Fishman and Assistant Attorney General Carlin credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Frankel in Newark, and the JTTF with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. The JTTF is made up of agents and officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Paterson Police Department, and New York City Police Department, among other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys L. Judson Welle, Dennis C. Carletta and Francisco J. Navarro of the District of New Jersey, with assistance from Trial Attorney Robert Sander of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Nader Saadeh Information.pdf

Nader Saadeh Plea Agreement.pdf