A Minnesota man, who was killed in Syria while fighting with Islamic State - also known as ISIS - militants, worked at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport before leaving the country, a Minneapolis news station has discovered.
Abdirahmaan Muhumed was killed in Syria last month. Authorities are not sure when he left the country to join the fighting there. But KMSP of Minneapolis reports that he worked for Delta Global Services, cleaning airplanes at the Twin Cities airport, before he left.
His employment at the company was confirmed by two former employees, who said they worked with him.
Delta Global Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines. It was responsible for cleaning the airline’s planes in Minneapolis before the contract for those services was taken over by another company earlier this year.
While employed with the company, Muhumed would have had access to the airport’s tarmac and to planes. The Metropolitan Airports Commission is responsible for granting security clearances to such areas. An employee at the commission would not comment on the level of Muhumed’s clearance, citing an ongoing FBI investigation.
The employee offered to check with Homeland Security to determine if the release of any information was allowed.
Muhumed is the second American with Minnesota ties to be killed in Syria. He was killed in the same battle as Douglas McCain, an American from San Diego, who graduated from high school in Minnesota.
Muhumed was of Somali ancestry. Authorities estimate that as many as 15 Somali-Americans left the Minneapolis area recently to fight with ISIS in Syria.
Slate reports that on Jan. 2 Muhumed, 29, posted a message on his Facebook wall saying, "A Muslim has to stand up for (what’s) right, I give up this worldly life for Allah.”
It is unclear if Muhumed and McCain knew each other from their days in Minnesota.
McCain, 33, was a Muslim convert. He claimed from his Twitter account that he “reverted to Islam 10 years ago and I must say In sha Allah I will never look back the best thing that ever happen to me.”
McCain’s body was identified by his U.S. passport, found on his body along with $800 in cash, according to the New York Daily News.
ISIS continues to use the existence of foreign and U.S. fighters in Syria as a propaganda tool. Last month the group posted pictures on social media sites of its flag being flown in front of the White House and Chicago’s Old Republic building with the message: “We are in your state, we are in your cities, we are in your streets.”
Muhumed leaves behind nine children in Minneapolis.