Men arrested in San Diego accused of trying to join Islamic State

Prosecutors tell a judge Mohamed Abdihamid Farah and Abdurahman Yasin Daud are both flight risks

A San Diego federal judge Monday ordered two men who were arrested on terrorism charges to be held without bail.

Federal prosecutors told Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford that Mohamed Abdihamid Farah and Abdurahman Yasin Daud, both 21, are flight risks and a "danger to the community."

The two were arrested in San Diego on Sunday. Four other young men -- all from the Somali community in Minneapolis -- were arrested in Minneapolis.

The group is accused of plotting to join the Islamic State in Syria.

Farah and Daud had driven to San Diego from Minneapolis with plans to get passports, cross the border into Mexico and catch international flights en route to Syria to join ISIS, according to court documents.

A detention hearing for the pair is set for Friday. Federal prosecutors want the two extradited to Minnesota.

Farah and Daud did not enter a plea but were assigned attorneys. Farah is a U.S. citizen; Daud is a Somali citizen and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.

The arrests came after a 10-month investigation by the FBI, including an undercover informant who wore a wire to record conversations.

Included in a federal affidavit are quotes from conversations recorded by the informant wearing a wire.

In a conversation quoted in the court document, Farah, while in San Diego, said: “The American identity is dead. Even if I get caught … I’m through with America. Burn my I.D.”

The FBI declined to pinpoint where Farah and Daud were when they were arrested. But a public radio station in Minnesota quoted a woman there saying that one of her sons was arrested in a relative's home in San Diego.

San Diego has a Somali community of approximately 10,000.

In 2013, four Somali nationals, including an imam at a local mosque, were convicted in San Diego of supporting the Al-Shabaab terror group in their homeland by gathering money for the group; the four were sentenced to terms from six to 18 years in prison.

At a news conference Monday, Andrew Luger, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, said that Minnesota has a "terror recruiting problem" with young men going to Syria to join ISIS and then recruiting others to leave the U.S. to join the jihad -- a process called "peer-to-peer recruiting."

The goal of U.S. officials, he said, is to "break the cycle of terror recruiting."

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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