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Pakistan reportedly strikes ‘terrorist hideouts’ in Iran

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson reports the latest on the turmoil in the Middle East.

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A Minneapolis man has been charged with supporting and involved in training with ISIS terrorists in Somalia, and threatening an attack on New York City, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Friday. 

Harafa Hussein Abdi, 41, was taken into custody in Africa and extradited back to the U.S., where he’s expected to face a federal judge in Manhattan, New York, on Friday, the department said in a release. 

In 2015, Abdi allegedly left Minnesota for Somalia and joined up with ISIS fighters in a training camp in the Puntland region. 

“As alleged, Harafa Hussein Abdi, a citizen of this country, traveled from Minnesota to join a group of ISIS fighters in Somalia,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. 


An alleged photo of the suspect holding an AK-47 in the desert of Somalia

Harafa Hussein Abdi, 41, allegedly sent this photo of himself in the Somali desert on social media.  (U.S. Department of Justice)

He added, “While training with ISIS fighters in Somalia, Abdi allegedly carried an AK-47, threatened to attack civilians in New York City, and encouraged others to carry out such attacks. Our law enforcement partners have relentlessly pursued this investigation to ensure the disruption of Abdi’s alleged plans to wage terror on our shores and bring Abdi to an American court to face justice. No matter how long it takes, this office is steadfast in its commitment to investigate, disrupt and prosecute terrorist threats against Americans.”

Abdi said in social media posts that he had moved overseas to join the “Islamic State” and for “hijra,” an Arabic word that means to leave the country and support ISIS for the purpose of jihad. He also sent a photo of himself carrying an AK-47 in the desert, according to the DOJ. 

Abdi also allegedly filmed pro-ISIS propaganda for the terrorist organization’s “media” wing. 

In January 2017, Abdi allegedly sent an audio file on social media to at least 20 others of rap lyrics that said: “hollow tips put a hole in your Catholic vest, and chop his head off let it rest on his Catholic chest.” 

He added, “We going to carry on jihad” and “Fly through America on our way to shoot New York up. They trying to shut this thing. We ain’t going. We going to come blow New York up.” 


ISIS fighter holding the flag

An ISIS terrorist holds a flag and a weapon. (Reuters / File)

He also wrote “Fighting back the kuffar [sic] who’s at war with Muslims if [that] is not islam then I don’t know wats [sic] Islam” in the message. 

Abdi was jailed by ISIS after leaving the group in 2017 and eventually escaped to East Africa where he was arrested. 

He allegedly admitted his affiliation to FBI investigators and identified himself in an ISIS propaganda video in which he said: “We thank almighty God for making us His soldiers and chose us to be among the Khilafa troops,” while holding an AK-47.

He allegedly added in the video: “So do not stay behind, brother, and get on this caravan…. Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil.” 

Abdi is charged with conspiring and providing support for and receiving military training from a designated foreign terrorist organization and could face decades in prison if convicted. 


“Abdi allegedly trained in an ISIS camp, encouraged others to fight on behalf of ISIS, and sent social media messages  about committing violent acts in New York City,” said Executive Assistant Director Larissa L. Knapp of the FBI’s National Security Branch. “The FBI works tirelessly to protect the American people against acts of terrorism and will hold accountable all those who break our laws and endanger our citizens. 

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners both here and overseas to uncover and disrupt terrorist activity.”

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