Not that this has anything to do with…
“Day 13: Co-Conspirator: Martyrdom was in my Head Before ISIS Showed Up,” by Jennie Lissarrague, KSTP, May 25, 2016:
The prosecution has finished questioning Abdirizak Warsame, and now defense attorneys are getting an opportunity for cross-examination.
Warsame, who has already pleaded guilty in the case, is testifying against 21-year-old Guled Omar, 22-year-old Abdirahman Daud and 22-year-old Mohamed Farah, who are accused of trying to join ISIS.
Farah’s attorney, Murad Mohammad, first questioned Warsame about his uncle, who is the executive director of Ka Joog, a Minneapolis-based organization that works to combat radicalization among Somali young.
Mohammad asked Warsame if Ka Joog works closely with the government and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to which Warsame said it did. Mohammed asked if his uncle had anything to do with delaying Warsame’s charges, and Warsame said he didn’t know.
The defendants were arrested in April 2015, and Warsame was arrested in December 2015.
Warsame said he took the guilty plea to avoid the charge of conspiracy to murder outside the United States.
“I knew I was guilty, and I was shown all the evidence compiled against me, and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance,” Warsame said.
Mohammad then asked Warsame about his initial interest in the Syrian conflict and questioned if Warsame thought about martyrdom before the Islamic State existed.
“That was, for me, to go and fight jihad and attain martyrdom, was something in my head before ISIS showed up,” Warsame said.
Mohammad argued that joining ISIS was not an essential part of martyrdom.
“Before ISIS came on the scene, you had the intention, desire and a dream of performing jihad and dying as a martyr so you could go to heaven,” Mohammad said. “Was it necessary for you to join ISIS to achieve martyrdom?”
“Well … that’s where I wanted to go, to join ISIS and go fight with them,” Warsame answered.
“Is it possible for you to be a martyr without joining ISIS?” Mohammad asked again.
“Yes,” Warsame answered.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis then asked Warsame where he “learned all this,” and where he was getting his knowledge.
Warsame cited Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a jihad preacher in Yemen.
“He talked about the end of times, some of the events that will happen during the end times,” Warsame said. “One lecture talked about how at the end of times a group would emerge from the land of Sham [Syria] and would be carrying the black flag and would establish a caliphate during a time when Muslims are being oppressed … When I saw all this fighting was happening in Syria, I listened back to that lecture and saw it as a prophecy that was unveiling itself.”
Warsame also talked about the belief that martyrs would one day be able to save their family members from hell.
“In some parts of Islam, we believe the person who dies as a martyr, if he has family members who, eventually, in the afterlife go to hell, that person who died as a martyr can save his family members that went to hell and take them out and bring them to heaven,” Warsame said….