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Minneapolis family questions FBI tactics after home raid

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Adam Aded and his son Abdullahi Abdulkadir
Adam Aded, right, says an FBI SWAT team went overboard Friday morning when agents came to arrest his older son Khaalid Adam Abdulkadir for allegedly threatening the FBI on Twitter. Aded says his 2-year-old son, who was present during the event, has been vomiting and hasn't been sleeping well.
Mukhtar Ibrahim | MPR News

Adam Aded thought he'd done all he could to steer his son away from government scrutiny and from the lure of overseas extremists. Then an FBI SWAT team broke down his doors. 

Agents came Friday morning, descending on his Minneapolis home to arrest his son, Khaalid Adam Abdulkadir, for allegedly threatening the FBI on Twitter.

Abdulkadir remains in custody and his case will now go to a grand jury for review. At a court hearing Wednesday, Abdulkadir's attorney raised questions about whether he typed the tweets and who he was specifically targeting.

Whatever happens in Abdulkadir's case, it's already left his family shaken.

Sitting on his couch Tuesday evening, Aded criticized how the SWAT team conducted its arrest and also detailed the FBI's interest in his son.

"Forget about us harboring a terrorist in our home, they are the ones that terrorized us," Aded said. "They really caused a lot of problems and damaged the house."

Burned carpet from smoke grenade
A smoke grenade left a dark burn on the carpet in Adam Aded's home.
Mukhtar Ibrahim | MPR News

Aded said more than 30 law enforcement personnel came to the house, forcibly broke the doors and threw a smoke grenade inside the home. The smoke grenade left a dark burn on the house's carpet, he said, adding that he spent about $500 to fix the back and front doors.

When the SWAT team came, Aded said they handcuffed all the occupants in the house except for his 2-year-old son. The child, who has asthma, has been vomiting because of the smoke and hasn't been sleeping well since Friday, he added.

Minneapolis FBI spokesperson Kyle Loven said they used the SWAT team because they "considered the arrest of Mr. Abdulkadir to be potentially volatile." 

"This arrest was carried out with precision and with overwhelming force in an attempt to make certain that no parties were injured during the apprehension," Loven said. "It's not an uncommon practice to make certain that the scene is secure, and often times that is done through the momentary detention of those occupants inside the home."

Abdi Farah, Abdulkadir's uncle who works a night shift, came home around 6:30 a.m., two hours before law enforcement personnel arrived at the house. He was half asleep when heard loud bangs on the door and the cries of his 2-year-old nephew. He, Abdulkadir and four others were handcuffed and their fingerprints were taken, Farah said.

Farah, who was wearing only boxer shorts when the SWAT team came, said the agents weren't interested in being respectful. He said they told him to shut up when he asked if he could put on some clothes and that one agent took the 2-year-old from him while another knocked him to the ground.

"They didn't say, 'Hey, we're looking for this guy. Do you know him?' None of that. It's like, Boom! Boom! Boom! Gun on your forehead," he recalled. "How do you feel if someone put a gun on your head? I feel like they mistreat us, like we were not even American citizens. We were all roughed up like we were in a Chicago gang."

Loven denied that the FBI SWAT team put guns to the heads of Farah and his nephews.

Since May, the FBI has interviewed Abdulkadir at least twice and interacted with Abdulkadir's father on the phone several times. Abdulkadir was friends with the men arrested earlier this year on ISIS-related charges because they were born in the Twin Cities and went to the same school. 

Aded said the FBI came to his son's school in Minneapolis in early May, looking for Abdulkadir. The FBI said Abdulkadir was attempting to travel to Syria, an allegation that the father denied.

The FBI also met Aded and Abdulkadir at a local clinic and reiterated their concern that Abdulkadir was planning to leave the country. 

In the summer, Abdulkadir wanted to go to California for his cousin's high school graduation. Since the family knew that their son was under the watch of the FBI, they tried to stop him from leaving.

But Abdulkadir insisted that he wanted to go and booked a ticket for a flight. As he waiting for his ride to the airport, an altercation began between his uncle, his mother and three of his brothers. 

The family finally succeeded in stopping him from leaving and took away his wallet and documents. During the incident, Aded said the family saw two black SUVs near their house.

On July 28, Aded said he got a call from an FBI agent who asked why the family beat up Abdulkadir and stopped him from flying to California. 

Aded was surprised. He said he wondered how the agent knew Abdulkadir wanted to go to California. 

"You're a good family that's working with us and who's aware of what their son is doing," Aded said the FBI told him. 

"We know our son and he isn't involved in anything illegal, but don't screw him up," Aded recalled telling the FBI.

He said he doesn't believe that his son posted the threats on Twitter, and that even if he did, he would have cooperated with the FBI to work it out.

Aded said his son, who goes to Minneapolis Community and Technical College, is a good student who drives the children to school. 

"He hasn't done anything that will cause instability in this country," he said. "This is his country."