Attorneys for five young Twin Cities men charged with plotting to join ISIL wrestled Thursday in court filings over how the upcoming trial might be affected by the disclosure that a member of one defense team, a St. Paul imam, has preached about jihad.
Some filings described Hassan Mohamud's message as moderate, and others suggested the government misinterpreted his use of the word "jihad." But two of the five defendants have asked for separate trials if Mohamud is allowed a seat at the defense table of Mohamed Farah when the trial begins in May. Another man, who pleaded guilty last year, said Mohamud interfered with his defense strategy and tried to dissuade him from entering his plea.
At a hearing Friday in Minneapolis, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis will consider motions that include whether to disqualify anyone from Farah's legal team.