MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - He disappeared in May of 2014. His family was frantic, calling friends and checking Twin Cities mosques. No one knew where Abdi Nur had gone, though there were certainly fears.
Then, the next day, he messaged his sister. He was in Syria. He was with ISIL. And he was prepared to die.
Ifrah Nur, 23, choked back tears at times on the witness stand in federal court in Minneapolis. She said she begged her brother to come home, begged him not to kill anyone. He instead promised to see her in the afterlife.
“He said, 'Everybody dies, but I want the best death,'” testified Nur. “'If I didn’t care I wouldn’t have left but I want Jannah (paradise) for all of us.'”
Ifrah Nur was the eighth witness to testify in the trial of three Minnesota men accused of plotting to join ISIL. The most serious charge against Mohamed Farah, Abdirahman Daud and Guled Omar is conspiring to commit murder abroad.
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Abdi Nur did something those three men are accused of trying to do several times. He left the country to join a terrorist organization. The prosecution wants the jury to hear his story because his name has and will continue to come up as part of a larger group of young men in the Twin Cities who found themselves pulled into the more radical parts of Islam and became convinced that joining ISIL was the right thing to do.
Ifrah Nur testified that her brother, in messages through KIK and Facebook, told her he was convinced it was the right thing for their entire family.
“He believes that if he died in Syria that the would take family members to heaven,” said Ifrah Nur. “That’s what he believed. That’s why he’s saying I’m going this for us all.”
She was also asked about how he changed in the months leading up to his departure. She told of him getting more deeply into his religion and less interested in the fun things he’d always done. But she said he never said anything to her about a desire to join ISIL. And she said he said nothing about anyone influencing him or recruiting him.
But she knows he’s probably gone forever. She hasn’t heard from him for a year and a half.
“Do you know if your brother is dead of alive?"
"I don’t know," she said.
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