MN Man Convicted in Islamic State Case for Threatening US AG Now Facing Over a Dozen Felony and Other Charges in Two Counties

A Minnesota man who pleaded guilty in 2015 to a charge related to threatening the US Attorney General is now facing over a dozen felony and other charges in two counties.

Mahamed Abukar Said, Source: Hennepin County Sheriff

A Minnesota man who pleaded guilty in 2015 to a charge related to threatening the US Attorney General is now facing over a dozen felony and other charges in two counties.

Mahamed Abukar Said was charged in 2015 with two felony counts after threatening then US Attorney General Loretta Lynch via Twitter after six Minnesota men, five of whom were Said’s friends, were charged with conspiring to join the Islamic State.

As the result of a plea agreement, Said eventually pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of impeding a law enforcement officer and was sentenced in November 2015 to probation and one year in a Minneapolis residential re-entry center.

Just one month later, Said was discharged from the facility after “numerous problems and violations” and was transferred to a re-entry facility in South Dakota, according to a federal court document.

In March 2016, three months into his stint in the South Dakota facility, staff informed the US Probation Office and the Bureau of Prisons that they planned to terminate Said’s placement at the facility for failure to follow rules, being disrespectful to staff, not following a direct order and refusing to participate in programming. Said was allowed to remain at the facility until the end of May during which time he continued to have conflicts with staff and caused disruption to the facility, and staff again sought to terminate his placement in the facility, the document said.

In March 2018, Said was found to have violated the terms of his probation and was again ordered into a re-entry facility and electronic monitoring by the court for a term of 180 days, according to another federal court document.

New charging documents in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties detail a series of criminal charges for financial card fraud, identity theft and theft involving local fitness centers and facilities across the Twin Cities metro, including the University of Minnesota Recreation Center, stretching back to at least November 2017.

Said is facing at least 15 counts in Hennepin County in at least two cases and four counts in Ramsey County in at least two cases.

In one Hennepin County case Said is charged with seven felony counts of financial transaction card fraud in various amounts ranging up to $5,000 on each count, one count of felony identity theft and six counts of misdemeanor theft in amounts up to $500 on each count. The complaint states that Said stole credit cards and personal items including identifying documents and used the credit cards to make unauthorized purchases.

The 14- count criminal complaint in Hennepin County states that in late 2017 and early 2018 Said entered locker rooms on several occasions at fitness facilities including Planet Fitness and LA Fitness at locations in Bloomington and Edina and stole wallets, identity documents, cash and credit cards. The complaint also states that Said entered the University of Minnesota Recreation Center on campus in Feb. 2018 and broke into two lockers and stole wallets, credit cards, identity documents including a passport, an iPad and other items.

Said is facing one more count of felony financial transaction card fraud in another Hennepin County case that dates to Dec. 2017. 

Said is also facing at least four felony counts involving financial transaction card fraud in at least two cases in Ramsey County. One criminal complaint states that in Feb. 2018 Said entered a Planet Fitness location on Old Hudson Road in St. Paul and broke the lock off a locker and stole another patron’s keys and his wallet containing credit cards. An employee told police that a suspicious person had checked in on a day pass. The employee said the suspicious person was a Somali male who provided the name of Abdi Abdi. The employee took a photo of the man and noted he was the only person in the gym who wasn’t a regular customer. Subsequent comparisons of the photo taken at Planet Fitness were made to security photos from businesses where the credit cards were used, and a positive match was made to a person later identified as Said. The victim in that case also said that his vehicle had been rifled through at the time.

In the other Ramsey County case, Said is accused of breaking into lockers at a YMCA facility on Arcade Street in St. Paul and stealing cash and a wallet containing credit cards and a social security card from one locker, and a wallet and cell phone from another locker.

According to that complaint, YMCA staff told responding officers that an emergency exit alarm door went off around the time of the thefts. Surveillance video showed a man, later identified as Said, had gotten past the front desk when staff got busy. The man “skulked around” the men’s locker room and looked around to see if anyone was coming. The same man was the person who pushed the emergency door in an attempt to see if the alarm would go off.

Said has four prior felony convictions including three for financial transaction card fraud and was still on state probation during at least some of the alleged thefts, and Said was also on federal parole at the time of many of the offenses, according to information contained in the complaints.

Various federal, state and local court records and documents list Said with two different birth dates and birth years in 1994 and 1995. The criminal complaints and jail booking records also list several different addresses for Said in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Said was charged by summons in the Hennepin County cases in April and by warrant in the Ramsey County cases in March. Said also has a felony warrant listed out of Washington County, but a request for information about that warrant was not responded to prior to publication.

Said was arrested by Minneapolis police and booked into Hennepin County jail on Aug. 8. Hennepin County records indicate that Said was released from Hennepin County custody on Aug. 13 and was scheduled to appear in Ramsey County court on Aug. 14. Said is scheduled to make his next court appearances in Hennepin County on Aug. 26.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.