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Case against entrapped Somali youth flounders

By Mick Kelly |
May 17, 2016
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Minneapolis, MN - On the 13th floor of the Minneapolis Federal Courthouse, the prosecutors of the three Somali youth entrapped by the FBI paraded a host of FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents before jury, Tuesday, May 17, as they attempted to recover from the setbacks that attorneys for Guled Omar, Abdirahman Daud and Mohamad Farah, dealt them yesterday.

On Monday, May 16, the defense hammered a key prosecution witness, Abdullahi Mohamud Yusuf. Under withering examination by Bruce Nestor, Abdirahman Daud’s attorney, Yusuf was repeatedly shown to be untruthful. At one point in his testimony Yusuf admitted he had told “a lot of lies” to federal investigators.

Defense attorneys also exposed the agreement between Yusuf and the prosecution – an agreement that rewards Yusuf with less or no jail time, if the authorities are pleased with his efforts to lock up his former friends.

On May 17, FBI Special Agent Daniel Higgins was called to the stand. Most of his testimony was devoted to the Twitter and Facebook activity of an Abdi Nur. Higgins said FBI investigated Nur’s Facebook friends. At the prodding of prosecutor Andrew Winter, Higgins went on at length about messages and postings with a political or religious content.

Also on May 17, a strange turn of events took place when presiding Judge Michael Davis seemed to slip into the role of prosecutor, questioning a visibly distraught witness, Ifrah Nur, while the jury was present.

Throughout the proceeding, family, friends and supporters filled the courtroom.

Jess Sundin of the Anti-War Committee has been attending the trial and urges others to do the same. “The government is trying to criminalize the Somali community, and it is important that we show our solidarity with these young people,” stated Sundin.