Judge orders KC man held without bond while FBI probes ‘jihadist’ allegations

Isse Aweis Mohamud
Isse Aweis Mohamud

A Kansas City man who is the subject of an FBI investigation into possible terrorism links was ordered held without bond Thursday.

Isse Aweis Mohamud, 21, is currently charged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City with passport fraud.

A federal magistrate judge ordered his detention Thursday after federal prosecutors argued he posed a risk to public safety and was a flight risk.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Hays based her detention order on the flight risk argument.

“The court concludes there is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure defendant’s appearance as required,” she wrote.

The FBI began investigating Mohamud last month after his family reported him missing and expressed concern that he may have gone overseas to engage in terrorist activities, according to court documents and testimony.

Those family members told the FBI they were concerned that he had gone overseas to “engage in jihadist activities,” a prosecutor said during a court appearance for Mohamud.

After the missing person report, the FBI found that he had flown to Egypt where he was detained by Egyptian authorities.

After flying back to the United States on May 4, Mohamud was taken into FBI custody and charged with passport fraud, allegedly providing false information about his travel plans on a passport application.

“Evidence that defendant made a false statement in his passport application, can be viewed as an attempt to hide his actual plans and motivation for travel, yet another step towards achieving his goal to leave this country to join a foreign terrorist organization,” the judge wrote in Thursday’s order.

Mohamud’s attorney argued that information about his possible terror-related activities was “radical speculation by the government.”

But Hays found that based on testimony during court hearings last Friday and on Tuesday, his detention was warranted.

“Defendant’s long-held goal to leave this country to join a foreign terrorist organization, as well as his recently displayed ability to carry through on his plan by covertly leaving his home for overseas travel, causes the court to find by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a serious risk defendant will flee if released on bond,” she said in her order.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc