Six Minnesota men charged with conspiring to support the Islamic State
An image grab taken from a video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State terrorist group allegedly shows ISIL fighters raising their weapons with the Jihadist flag at an undisclosed location (AFP)

U.S. authorities have charged six men from Minnesota with planning to join Islamic State and fight for the militant group in Syria, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota said on Monday.


Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19, Adnan Farah, 19, Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19, and Guled Ali Omar, 20, were arrested in Minneapolis on Sunday.

Two other men, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 21, and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21, were arrested on Sunday in California after driving from Minneapolis to San Diego.

All six men had been conspiring for the past 10 months and were arrested as part of a yearlong FBI investigation into young men from the area trying to travel to Syria to join Islamic State, U.S. prosecutors allege.

"We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota," U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger said at a news conference announcing the arrests.

Dozens of people from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, many of them Somali-American youths, have traveled or attempted to travel overseas to support Islamic State or al Shabaab, a militant group based in Somalia, since 2007, according to U.S. prosecutors.

In February a Minnesota man stopped in New York last November en route to Syria, was indicted on charges of conspiring to support Islamic State and lying to federal agents investigating recruitment by militant groups.

(Additional reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)