Minneapolis: One of two Minnesota men accused of planning to join the Islamic State group was stopped at an airport by FBI agents before travelling to the Middle East, but the other man slipped by authorities, according to a criminal complaint unsealed.
Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, was stopped at the Minneapolis airport in late May. Authorities are still looking for 20-year-old Abdi Nur, who left for Istanbul, Turkey, the next day and didn't return in June as scheduled, according to the court documents.
Yusuf was arrested on his way to school at Inver Hills Community College. His attorney argued for his release during a Tuesday hearing in US District Court in Minneapolis, noting he had been going to school and work despite knowing for months that he was under investigation.
But a magistrate judge ordered him held until a detention hearing today.
Yusuf, who lives in Inver Grove Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, and Nur, of Minneapolis, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation. Nur also is charged with providing material support to a foreign terror group.
US Attorney Andy Luger said both young men conspired to join the Islamic State group "to engage in a campaign of terror in support of a violent ideology."
Authorities say a handful of Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria, which borders Turkey, to fight with militants within the last year. A total of 15 people have now been charged around the US with offenses related to the foreign-fighter threat in Syria, according to the federal government.
Yusuf and Nur applied for expedited passports and, despite being unemployed, deposited about USD 1,500 for airline tickets into their checking accounts shortly before their scheduled departures, according to the criminal complaint.
Yusuf's parents who authorities said didn't know about their son's plans attended yesterday's court hearing but declined to speak to The Associated Press.
According to the complaint, a passport specialist noticed Yusuf didn't have a specific itinerary, the name of a hotel or details about a person he claimed he was going to see in Istanbul. The specialist also noticed Yusuf became nervous. He alerted his supervisor, who went to the FBI.