New terrorism charges against eight men painted the most complete picture yet of how approximately 20 Minneapolis-area men were indoctrinated, recruited, and trained to fight in Somalia with a terrorist organization, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The eight, most of whom have fled the U.S., were also charged with providing financial support and fighting for Al-Shabaab, which the U.S. government identifies as a terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaida.
As of now, 14 men have been charged or indicted in the case, considered to be one of the most far-reaching counterterrorism probes since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Four have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Five other Somali men have been killed, along with a Muslim convert from Minneapolis. Ralph Boelter, FBI agent in charge in Minneapolis, said investigators have been concerned about the prospects of American citizens with U.S. passports receiving terrorist training and returning to this country, possibly to carry out an attack on American soil. He added that the investigation shows “no evidence” that such a plot exists in this case.