The Justice Department on Tuesday announced it is charging two Minnesota men with aiding the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
One of the suspects, Abdullah Yusuf, 18, was stopped by the FBI at the Minneapolis airport in May, according to the DOJ. The other man, Abdi Nur, 20, flew from Minneapolis to Istanbul the same month and remains in the region, the department said.
Nur reportedly has since sent Facebook messages to an individual in the United States saying that he has gone “to the brothers,” that we “will see each other in the afterlife inshallah,” and “im not coming back,” according to the criminal complaint.
The other man, Yusuf, was stopped at the airport after he was unable to provide his reason for traveliing to Turkey to a passport agent. In addition, without a known source of income, Yusuf had deposited $1,500 in one day, which he used to purchase the airline ticket, according to the DOJ.
The DOJ said Yusuf is associated with "H.M.," a former Minnesota resident believed to be fighting in Syria.
Yusuf is of Somali descent, and the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, said that there is a larger problem in the area's Somali community with radicalism.
“Since al-Shabaab began recruiting young adults from the Twin Cities in 2007, our region has lost dozens of disaffected young people to terrorist organizations that would sooner see Somali Minnesotans die on foreign battlefields than prosper in peace and security in the United States," Luger said in a statement, referring to a Somali terrorist group.
"The law-abiding members of Minnesota’s Somali community are great partners in our fight against terror, and I am proud to work closely with community and religious leaders to lift up those Somali youth who remain vulnerable to terrorist recruiters," Luger added.
In October, U.S. officials said three American teenage girls, two of Somali descent, were caught in Germany on their way to join ISIS.
There are "a dozen or so" Americans fighting in Syria for terrorist groups, FBI Director James Comey told CBS last month, adding that their identities are known and they would be tracked if they returned to the United States.