Financial assistance

Former San Diego Resident Pleads Guilty To Funding ISIS Terrorist Activities In Syria | USAO-SDCA


Assistant US Attorney Shane Harrigan (619) 546-6981 and Fred Sheppard (619) 546-8237


SAN DIEGO – Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi, a Canadian national and former resident of San Diego, pleaded guilty today in federal court, admitting he conspired with others to provide material support to terrorists engaged in violent activity such as the murder, kidnapping and dismemberment of people in Syria.

According to his plea deal, Abdullahi admitted that he provided money to his four cousins, including an 18-year-old Minneapolis resident, as well as former San Diego resident Douglas McAuthur McCain, to support their terrorist activities. in Syria.

From November 2013 to March 2014, with financial assistance from Abdullahi for the purchase of airline tickets and living abroad, Douglas and the others traveled from San Diego, Minneapolis and Edmonton, Canada, to Syria, where they joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization, and engaged in armed battles to gain control of the territories and civilian populations in Syria on behalf of ISIS. The five individuals were later reportedly killed while fighting for ISIS.

Douglas McCain, a former San Diego resident, is the first known American to die fighting for ISIS. He left San Diego in March 2014, and on or around August 25, 2014, he was reportedly killed fighting for ISIS against Free Syrian Army forces. Douglas’s brother, Marchello McCain, had previously been convicted in federal court in San Diego and sentenced to 10 years in custody for illegal possession of a gun cache and for providing false statements to law enforcement officers. FBI regarding his knowledge of the plot, including Abdullahi’s involvement.

In accordance with the plea deal, Abdullahi also admitted that in order to fund the travel of others to Syria, the members of the conspiracy encouraged Abdullahi and others to steal and commit fraud against the “kuffar” ( a derogatory term used to describe non-Muslims), claiming that such criminal activity was permitted under Islamic law.

Abdullahi admitted that on January 9, 2014, he committed an armed robbery at an Edmonton jewelry store in an attempt to raise funds to support terrorist activity in Syria. Subsequently, on three occasions, Abdullahi wired and wired other members of the conspiracy in the United States – including about $ 3,100 to Douglas – in order to finance the trip of foreign fighters from America to the United States. North to support and join terrorist fighters. engaged in terrorist activities in Syria.

Additionally, Abdullahi admitted that he and others wired and had money wired to third-party middlemen in Gaziantep, Turkey (located about 40 miles from the Syrian border) in an attempt to support a conspiratorial member. fighting and engaging in terrorist activities in Syria.

According to the plea agreement, Abdullahi accepted a 20-year jail term.

“Terrorist networks cannot survive without people like Abdullahi,” said US Attorney Randy Grossman. “Our top priority is to protect Americans from terrorists, and with today’s guilty plea, we have delivered justice to someone who directly funded the violence. I would like to commend the FBI San Diego and all federal, state and local law enforcement partners of the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force for their hard work and dedication to the complex, multi-year investigation that has leads to today’s guilty plea. In addition, I am also extremely grateful for the assistance of the Office of International Affairs of the Department of Justice and our Canadian law enforcement partners, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Edmonton Police Services; the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service; the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and the Office of the Crown Attorney of Canada, all of which were instrumental in the United States’ efforts to prosecute Abdullahi and combat international terrorism.

“The accused committed violent criminal acts to obtain money to help finance Douglas McCain’s trip abroad to fight for the Islamic State, where McCain was ultimately killed,” he said. FBI Special Agent Suzanne Turner. “This case demonstrates the FBI’s dedication to vigorously prosecuting those who provide material support to terrorist organizations, financial or otherwise, and to holding them accountable for these conspiratorial acts.”

On September 15, 2017, following an extradition request from the United States, Canadian authorities arrested Abdullahi. Abdullahi has been detained in Canada without bail, pending his extradition. On October 24, 2019, Canada extradited Abdullahi to San Diego to face material support charges in the indictment.

RESPONDENT Criminal Case No. 17CR0622-W

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi 33 years old Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists – Title 18, USC, Sections 2339A (a)

Maximum penalty: Fifteen years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 (per count)

Provide Material Support to Terrorists – Title 18, USC, Sections 2339A (a)

Maximum penalty: Fifteen years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000


San Diego Joint Task Force on Terrorism

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Air Marshal Service

Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations

Department of Homeland Security, US Border Patrol