Edmonton man pleads not guilty to U.S. terrorism charges

A Canadian man accused of robbing an Edmonton jewelry store to help fund his cousins who joined ISIS has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in California.

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi is accused of providing funds to his cousins who fought for ISIS

Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi faces two terrorism charges in California. (Court exhibit)

A Canadian accused of robbing an Edmonton jewelry store to fund his cousins who fought for ISIS in Syria has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in California.

According to a court document filed on Feb. 25, Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi has entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists from August 2013 to November 2014. 

Abdullahi, 35, is awaiting trial after being extradited to the United States from Edmonton last October.

It's believed three of his cousins, Mahad Hirsi and brothers Hamsa and Hersi Kariye, traveled from Edmonton to Syria in 2013 and died fighting for ISIS a year later. 

In Syria, the Edmonton trio were joined by another cousin, Hanad Mohallim, and friend, Douglas McCain, both from the United States, who also reportedly died in 2014.

In the court document filed in February, Abdullahi's lawyer Marc Carlos requested results of scientific tests done on drugs seized in the case, to determine if they are the drugs listed in the indictment.

This is the first time drugs have been publicly linked to the case.

Carlos has also requested fingerprint testing and any evidence that government witnesses may have motives to falsify testimony. 

One key government witness is Abdullahi's cousin, a former co-conspirator and ISIS supporter turned FBI informant, court documents show.   

U.S. government authorities say an Edmonton police officer will testify that a partial palm print lifted from the counter of the Edmonton jewelry store matches Abdullahi.

A surveillance video image released by police shows the suspects accused of robbing an Edmonton jewelry store. (Edmonton Police Service)

According to a court document filed on Dec. 11, the multi-year international terrorism investigation amassed a discovery that includes thousands of pages of reports from the investigation, data, subpoenaed documents and records from internet service providers.

"The United States has thus far provided approximately 13 gigabytes of discovery and expects to provide at least seven more gigabytes in the coming weeks," the document said.

Among the evidence, authorities say they have recovered draft emails that show Abdullahi communicated with and transferred money to foreign fighters.

Carlos and District Attorney Shane Harrigan did not respond to CBC's requests for comment.


Andrea Huncar


Andrea Huncar reports on human rights and justice. Contact her in confidence at andrea.huncar@cbc.ca