Minnesota terror suspect deemed flight risk, held for trial

Abdirahman Yasin Daud
Abdirahman Yasin Daud
Courtesy Sherburne County Jail

A federal judge ruled on Friday that a Minnesota man accused of trying to join the ISIS terror group is a flight risk and ordered him held for trial.

Abdirahman Daud had sought supervised release. Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis rejected that plan but, as he has with other terror suspects, said he was open to ideas.

Daud and six other Minnesota men were indicted on terrorism charges Tuesday by a federal grand jury for planning to join ISIS and fight in Syria.

Prosecutors say Daud and Mohamed Farah, another of those indicted Tuesday, drove to San Diego in April to buy fake passports in hopes of using them to travel to Syria. Both men were arrested in California.

The government on Friday argued detention was appropriate because Daud was a risk to flee overseas where he could be a potential recruiter and fighter for ISIS.

Daud's lawyer, Bruce Nestor, said the United States should not be flexing its power against his 21-year-old client.

Americans, he said, have a long history of fighting overseas for causes they believe in, causes just and unjust. Nestor brought up American citizens who've gone overseas to fight with the Irish Republican Army, for Israel and even with the forces battling ISIS, suggesting that his client was being treated differently.

Nestor also brought in a witness, Jean Emmons, to speak on Daud's behalf.

Emmons said she'd known Daud since he was an eighth-grader and she was a youth program manager at East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis.

Daud, she said, was one of the most respectful children she encountered. "He was an extremely calm person" who valued education, never raised his voice and was a good "big brother" to the younger kids around him.

Daud, she added, always walked away from basketball court conflicts.

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