“Minnesota men” go to trial: The jury returns

At 1:30 this afternoon the jury delivered its verdict in the case of the three “Minnesota men” charged with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The jury found the three men guilty on all counts with the exception of one perjury charge against Abdirahman Daud. (Daud gave a Clintonian response to an inartfully asked question before the grand jury. The Clintonian approach earned him an acquittal on that count.)

Congratulations are due to United States Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger and to Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Winter, John Docherty and Julie Allyn, who did the hard work of prosecuting the case. They did a good job.

Congratulations and thanks are due as well to the law enforcement officers who investigated the case. These are mostly FBI special agents who worked with the assistance of local members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. FBI Special Agents Carson Green and Daniel Higgins attended trial every day to help the prosecutors. Many other law enforcement officers who worked on the case also attended the trial out of uniform. There won’t be any demonstrations outside the courthouse in support of law enforcement, but there should be.


Judge Michael Davis presided at the trial. That’s Judge Davis in the photo at the right. I have known him professionally for a long time, going back to his days as a state court judge. I have always liked and respected him, but I grew to admire him greatly through this trial. He made sufficient room for media in the courtroom and set generous ground rules allowing us to work inside it. Together with the United States Marshals on hand, he maintained order in and around the courtroom. He kept the trial on track. He treated all parties with respect. He brooked no nonsense. He assured defendants a fair trial.

Consistent with the evidence before it, the jury returned a true verdict. The three defendants were proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the offenses charged, with the exception of the perjury count against Daud. Defendant Guled Omar testified on his own behalf and showed that he couldn’t talk his way out of this fix. Defendants Abdirahman Daud and Mohamaed Farah proved that silence was unavailing as well. The evidence against them was overwhelming.

It has been my goal in this series to note the evidence of interest in an important terrorism case raising issues of general concern and to allow readers who have followed along to understand the outcome. I hope those of you who have taken the long ride with me found it worth your time.

UPDATE: Star Tribune reporter Stephen Montemayor has a good account of events today here.