Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office have agreed to reveal the identity in January of an FBI informant who secretly taped a group of his friends as they allegedly conspired to join the terrorist group ISIS.
The case against the alleged ISIS recruits is largely based on recordings that the informant provided to prosecutors.
During court hearings, defense attorneys for the ISIS suspects have questioned the credibility of the informant, who previously participated in the alleged conspiracy and also lied to agents during a grand jury investigation.
Six of the seven ISIS suspects were arrested on the same day in April in multiple operations in the Twin Cities and San Diego. The seventh man, Hamza Ahmed, was arrested last November.
Hanad Musse, 19, one of the six men, pleaded guilty Sept. 9 to conspiring to support ISIS. He is the second Minnesota man to plead guilty in the ISIS investigation. Abdullahi Yusuf, 19, pleaded to a similar charge in February and is now cooperating with the government.
The government, which identifies the informant in court documents as CHS, said Tuesday it will provide to the defense "transcripts of the CHS' testimony before the grand jury."
These disclosures of the informant's identity and the transcripts will be made one month before the Feb. 16 trial, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors also said Tuesday they provided to the defense "numerous hours of audiotape which contain conversation between various defendants and the CHS."
The informant, who went by the name "Rover", was paid more than $41,000 for tape-recording his friends' conversations, among other tasks, since he started cooperating with federal prosecutors in February.
When the suspects' attempted travel plans to Syria failed, the informant convinced the men that he knew someone in California who could get them forged passports that would help them leave the country, according to court documents.