By Michelle Moons
SAN DIEGO — Six males arrested in a Sunday FBI anti-terrorism raid face charges of trying to leave the United States from Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Diego, California to join the Islamic fundamentalist terror group ISIS overseas. One member of the group intent on joining the terrorist organization defected and became an informant for the FBI, providing the necessary intelligence to make the arrests.
FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has reportedly been investigating at least 15 young residents of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area over the past year, according to a spokesman with U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger reported Minneapolis Public Radio News (MPR).
A Monday morning press conference emphasized that the group is not one of confused young men, but dedicated individuals “intent on joining terror organization by any means possible.” Some members of the group have succeeded in leaving the country to join terrorists overseas while others’ plans have been thwarted. One of the men who was successful is now actively recruiting for ISIL/ISIS from overseas.
Two men from the group had driven to San Diego with plans to obtain false travel documents, cross into Mexico and fly to Syria, Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton said, according to Fox 5.
Family members in Minnesota were claiming no knowledge of why the men were taken into custody after the Sunday arrests.
A woman telling MPR that she was the mother of two of the men arrested said that the FBI came around noon to the family’s house and arrested one son. The other, she told MPR, was arrested in San Diego.
“The community is in a state of confusion,” said Somali activist Omar Jamal on Sunday night reports MPR. “They don’t know what is going on….This is a very serious issue. We as a community are concerned about losing our kids to [ISIL].”
Minnesotan Douglas McAuthur McCain was reportedly the first American that died fighting for ISIS in Syria, Breitbart News previously reported. McCain worked and went to college in San Diego before leaving to fight with the terror group. San Diego ranks high on a list of U.S. cities with known or suspected terrorists (KST). Two September 11, 2001 terrorists and a mastermind of that plot resided in the area as well.
At least 22 men have been arrested out of Minnesota for leaving to join Islamic terror group al-Shabaab in Somalia since 2007 reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Kansas man John T. Booker Jr., who also went by the name Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, was arrested in recent days for plans allegedly involving a 1,000-pound suicide car bomb, at military base Ft. Riley and the 20-year-old’s declaration of allegiance to ISIS.
Two New York women were also arrested recently for allegedly planning to bomb a location in the city. The women reportedly have connections to known or suspected terrorists in the U.S. and were influenced by ISIS. The women reportedly praised the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.
Cousins Hasan and Jonas Edmonds were arrested in March for alleged plans for one to bomb the Joliet Armory in Illinois and for the other to leave and join terrorists overseas according to the Chicago Tribune.