KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is accused of trying to join a foreign terrorist organization. The Somali-born naturalized U.S. citizen said he was planning on visiting Canada, instead he went to Egypt.
Isse Mohamud will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday behind bars. Thursday, a judge ruled he’ll be detained without bond until trial on passport fraud charges because he’s too much of a threat and a flight risk.
It started as a Kansas City Police Missing Persons investigation, when Mohamud never returned from work to the Northland home he shares with his family.
“The police came by on the day he went missing and asked me if there was anything that I had seen unusual,” neighbor JoAnn Wilson said.
According to court documents two close family members told FBI agents Mohamud had been thinking about leaving home for years to join a foreign terrorist organization. They said he got books to learn Arabic, developed contacts overseas and deleted all communications on his social media.
“I think that’s very scary, just to know that someone is that close that has a desire to do things like that,” one neighbor said.
In January he got a passport at the U.S. Post Office in Gladstone, Mo., saying he wanted to go to Vancouver. FBI agents say he never went.
But in April he flew from Kansas City to Alexandria, Egypt, where authorities were waiting for him.
One neighbor who asked not to be identified praised the judge’s decision to detain Mohamud until trial.
“Until they find out what his agenda is I agree with that, there’s too much crazy going on in the world to let something slip,” the woman said.
Neighbors also praised the family for coming forward.
“They have potentially stopped something really bad from happening, so good for them,” she said.
Wilson is hoping the allegations of terrorists ties aren’t true.
“Hopefully he’ll just come back and be assimilated into our happy neighborhood,” she said.
Mohamud’s family declined comment on his arrest or detainment. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of passport fraud charges.