Minnesota man pleads not guilty to threatening FBI, judge

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis man who's charged with tweeting threats against FBI agents and a judge after his friend was arrested on a terrorism charge pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges outlined in a new indictment, and he was ordered held pending further proceedings.

Khaalid Adam Abdulkadir, 19, was indicted this week on one count of threatening to murder a federal judge, one count of threatening to murder a federal law enforcement officer, and one count of interstate transmission of a threat to injure another person. He previously faced just one count and has been in custody since last month.

Authorities say Abdulkadir posted two tweets within hours of his friend's Dec. 9 arrest for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Court documents show that one included the words "kill them FBI" and the other said, "I'm kill them FEDS for take my brothers."

Abdulkadir's attorney, Chris Madel, said the indictment doesn't specify whom Abdulkadir allegedly threatened and he argued the charges should be dismissed. He also said his client, a pre-nursing student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, has family in Minnesota and should be released on home monitoring.

"He's a 19-year-old kid who, at best, screwed up one night then deleted the tweets," Madel said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Docherty said deleting the tweets doesn't diminish the threats.

He also said evidence shows Abdulkadir expressed an interest in going to Syria to join the Islamic State group himself and used social media to seek advice from others who have joined terror groups, including one man who left Minnesota to join al-Shabab in Somalia in 2008. Abdulkadir also tried to communicate with a man who left Minnesota last year to join the Islamic State group in Syria, Docherty said.

A federal judge from South Dakota is overseeing the case because of the nature of the charges. Judge Karen Schreier said Thursday that Abdulkadir is a danger and a flight risk and will remain in custody.


Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti . More of her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/amy-forliti

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