The St. Louis Park family had just started a two-month vacation with relatives in Morocco in 2015 when they noticed that their 18-year-old son was on his cellphone even more than usual.
He told them it was just a distraction while adjusting to the Casablanca area, a place he found more hectic than his suburban hometown.
But within days, Abdelhamid Al-Madioum had disappeared.
His parents now know that the young man had secretly booked a flight to Istanbul, on his way to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
His case, laid out in newly unsealed court filings, is the first new disclosure of a young Minnesotan attempting the terrorism pilgrimage since the high-profile prosecution of nine Twin Cities men drew national attention last year.
And while that case seemed to close a chapter on one of the FBI’s biggest terror recruitment probes, the new documents underscore what federal authorities have been quietly saying for months: Their investigation of terrorist recruiting in Minnesota is far from finished.
In addition to Al-Madioum’s case, the Star Tribune has identified at least five other open investigations alleging ISIS support in Minnesota, with cases from 2015 to as recently as late last year.