Court documents revealed that a Somali refugee arrested last Friday for attempting to join ISIS told an undercover FBI agent that he and and a fellow prospective terrorist, who was also arrested last week, started going to the gym so they could get stronger and “behead” non-Muslims.
According to a press release issued on Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice, Ahmed Mahad Mohamed, 21, and Abdi Yemani Hussein, 20, conspired to “provide material support to ISIS.”
A criminal complaint alleges the two men “had been in communication with an FBI undercover employee whom they believed was a supporter of ISIS ideology” and wanted to travel abroad to fight for ISIS or “conduct an attack within the United States if they were unable to travel.”
The two men came to the United States as refugees from Somalia and resided in Tucson, Arizona, according to court documents.
In June, Mohamed told the undercover officer “that he and ‘abu jihad’ started going to the gym so they could get stronger and ‘behead those kuffar.'”
“Kuffar,” also spelled “kafir,” is a derogatory term in Arabic that means “infidel.”
According to court documents, Mohamed also told the undercover officer, “if I go to Syria, I want to be the beheading person wallahi this kuffar. I want to kill them so many I am thirsty their blood.”
Mohamed and Hussein bought tickets to travel to Egypt, allegedly to join ISIS, but were intercepted by authorities at Tucson International Airport and arrested by the FBI.
Trump reacts to the arrest of Somali refugees allegedly turned wannabe ISIS terrorists
Following Mohamed and Hussein’s arrest, President Donald Trump commented on the case, urging followers on Twitter to “Get smart.”
“Somali refugees arresed in Tucson on way to Egypt. They were in touch with an agent posing as a terrorist,” Trump said. “One of them stated, ‘The best wake up call is Islamic State to get victory or another 9/11.’ Get smart people!”
Were these Somali refugees related to Ilhan what’s her name or did they vote for her?
— CC (@ChatByCC) July 30, 2019
Some of the president’s supporters on social media remarked that the suspected terrorists shared a country of origin with Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat Trump has publicly sparred with in recent weeks.
The president’s critics, and Omar herself, have responded by accusing him of using racist rhetoric. In particular, they’ve focused on controversial remarks made by the president in mid-July, when he suggested that Omar and three other progressive congresswomen of color “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The public spat highlights an ongoing ideological tension between liberals – who accuse right-wingers of a bigoted focus on Muslims and foreign terrorism – and conservatives – who argue that political correctness run amok is stifling difficult but necessary conversations regarding the threat posed by Islamic extremism.