MINNEAPOLIS – A federal judge has ordered prosecutors to specify who was threatened in a series of tweets allegedly posted by a Minneapolis man after his friend was arrested on a terrorism charge.
Khaalid Adam Abdulkadir, 20, is accused of tweeting threats against FBI agents and a judge. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial March 8.
But late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier of South Dakota said prosecutors must name who was allegedly threatened by Abdulkadir, the the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1SI89GF ) reported. She gave prosecutors until Feb. 29.
Defense attorney Christopher Madel said he and his client are pleased with the ruling and looking forward to the trial. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office declined comment Saturday.
Schreier, who is overseeing the case because of the nature of the charges, also denied defense motions to dismiss the indictment against Abdulkadir. She ruled that the "true-threat exception" to First Amendment free speech protection applies in this case.
Abdulkadir was indicted 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. The charges stem from tweets he allegedly posted after his friend, Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame of Eagan, was arrested in December on accusations he conspired to help the Islamic State group.
Court documents show that one tweet included the words "kill them FBI" and the other said, "I'm kill them FEDS for take my brothers."
Under cross-examination during a Dec. 16 hearing, FBI agent Vadym Vinetsky said the tweets did not identify a specific judge or federal agent, only identifying those threatened as "FBI agents and the judge."
Abdulkadir is in jail as he awaits trial. Warsame pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization and awaits sentencing.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com