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Alleged IS Supporters Heard Discussing Syria Travel Plans


FILE - Female members of Minnesota's Somali community cover their faces as they arrive April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul in the case of Minnesotans accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

FILE - Female members of Minnesota's Somali community cover their faces as they arrive April 23, 2015, for a detention hearing in federal court in St. Paul in the case of Minnesotans accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

Three Minnesota men charged with trying to join Islamic State were heard discussing their travel plans to Syria in recordings played Friday at their trial in Minneapolis.

Guled Ali Omar, Mohamed Farah and Abdulrahman Duad were in the courtroom, listening to the recordings and testimony from their former friend, FBI informant Abdirahman Bashir.

On the recordings, the three men, all Somali-Americans, make a Skype call to a Minnesota friend who had gone to Syria and joined IS. The men discussed the money and documents they would need for the trip.

In some parts of the conversation, the men allegedly used code words. The informant, Bashir, told the jury the word "girl" meant passport, and the phrase "hot boys on the block" meant "the FBI is watching us."

Friday marked the 10th day of the trial in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. Omar, Farah and Duad are charged with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to commit murder abroad.

Ayan Farah, the mother of Mohamed Farah, accused Bashir of "planning traps" and prompting the defendants to say the things they said.

Farah said the government did not have enough evidence against the men. The defense has yet to cross-examine Bashir, 20.

A small group of people demonstrated Friday outside the courthouse in Minneapolis. A VOA Somali service reporter said the group was protesting the prosecution of the young Somalis.

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