Trump says ‘get smart’ after Somali refugees arrested for attempting to join ISIS

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 12:57:20-04

President Donald Trump weighed in on two Somali refugees arrested in Arizona last week for attempting to join the terrorist group ISIS.

“Somali refugees arresed (sic) in Tucson on way to Egypt. They were in touch with an agent posing as a terrorist. One of them stated, ‘The best wake up call is Islamic State to get victory or another 9/11.’ Get smart people!” he tweeted Tuesday.

Ahmed Mahad Mohamed, 21, and Abdi Yemani Hussein, 20, were arrested last Friday for “conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization,” according to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors say Mohamed and Hussein had been in contact with an undercover FBI agent who they believed was also an ISIS supporter, and expressed their desire to fight on behalf of ISIS, per the criminal complaint. The men purchased tickets to travel to Egypt allegedly with the intent to join ISIS, but were arrested after checking in for their flight at Tucson International Airport and passing through security.

During conversations with the undercover agent via an encrypted social media platform, Mohamed made a series of statements, including the quote Trump tweeted. And during an in-person meeting with Mohamed and the agent in Tucson, Hussein allegedly said he wanted to blow up the White House, according to court papers.

Court documents show that both men came to the United States legally as refugees from Somalia, though Mohamed had since obtained lawful permanent resident status.

The President has targeted foreign nationals coming to the United States from eight countries, including Somalia, in his 2017 “travel ban” executive order, which placed varying levels of restrictions on people attempting to immigrate from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.

The Supreme Court in December 2017 allowed that version of the order to take full effect pending appeal after lower courts in two separate challenges had partially blocked it. The court upheld the ban in June 2018.