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A man of Somali-descent pleaded guilty in a Minnesota federal court on May 2 to charges of making false statements to federal investigators due to his involvement in transporting suspected terrorists to San Diego and into Mexico.

According to court documents, Abdow Munye Abdow, 26, rented a car and traveled from the Twin Cities to the San Ysidro border crossing last October with three other men of Somali-decent linked to the al-Shabaab terrorist group. The men entered Mexico, and it is believed they intended to return to Somalia.

During the trip, Abdow’s vehicle was stopped by police near Las Vegas. One of the passengers (Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax) was on a terrorist watch list. During the traffic stop, the men claimed they were on their way to San Diego to attend a wedding. The trooper noted that none of the men could provide the name of the bride or groom and no “wedding clothes” were in the vehicle.

The Nevada patrolman contacted the FBI, who said that Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax was “being monitored, but it did it not give them an independent reason to detain him." The trooper released the men.

Two days later, the three men were stopped by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the San Ysidro crossing but were allowed to enter Mexico. Later that day, the FBI questioned Abdow, who had since returned to Minnesota. At that time, Abdow told investigators that he had had a fight with his wife and drove to Las Vegas with one friend and had not been stopped by police. He also claimed he did not know who paid for the rental car the men were riding in, nor who they were.

The FBI charged Abdow with making false statements, which he later admitted. He had paid for the rental car with his credit card and knew the men he was transporting. He was sentenced to 10 to 16 months in prison.

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