- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Jury deliberations began Wednesday in the federal trial of three Minnesota men accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

WCCO-TV reports (https://cbsloc.al/1r30u9P ) that the jury got the case after closing arguments wrapped up in the trial of Guled Ali Omar, 21, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 22, and Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 22. The jury went home Wednesday without reaching a verdict and was expected to resume deliberations Thursday.

The three have pleaded not guilty to several charges. The most serious is conspiracy to commit murder outside the United States, which carries the possibility of life in prison. The men are also charged with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group and attempting to provide such support.

During closing arguments, prosecutors pointed to recordings an FBI informant made of the men’s conversations. Omar’s attorney argued that the comments on the recordings amount to youthful one-upmanship.

“In whose world don’t teenage boys brag, boast, make stupid pronouncements and say things they don’t really mean?” said defense attorney Glen Bruder.

Bruder also made an impassioned plea to jurors to not base their verdict on what he called “the elephant in the room” - the fear of terrorism.

But prosecutor Julie Allyn told the jury, “These are not are not children; they are grown men. They chose ISIL.”

The recordings were made by Abdirahman Bashir, one of three cooperating witnesses who testified that the defendants knew they were going to Syria for the Islamic State group. The prosecution has argued that the defendants knew they would be killing people once they arrived in Syria.

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