SEATTLE, Wash. - Family members and friends from the Abubakr Islamic Community Center packed a King County courtroom to support three young men who police call dangerous criminals. A King County judge said it was the largest show of support he’s seen, but he also acknowledged the seriousness of the crimes.
Abdulkadir Ahmed, Najib Aden and Hasan Abdirizak all pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of armed robbery. Prosecutors say on Aug. 22, they robbed people on Capitol Hill, in West Seattle, and at a Beacon Hill bus stop. They're accused of pushing a woman to the ground and putting a gun to her head, pistol whipping a guy, and stealing another woman's purse.
KIRO 7 wasn’t able to show their faces in court because police say they’ve confessed to several more robberies and they’re still investigating.
Ahmed’s uncle, Guled Farah, told the judge if he released the men, the community would support them. But the judge denied the request to release them to home detention based on the seriousness of the crimes. He kept bail at $250,000.
“We are here to support him, not to commit again the crime.” Farah told KIRO 7 that Ahmed moved here from Somalia in 2004 and is a naturalized citizen. “We are human and sometimes people make a stupid decisions and maybe this is the time he made a stupid decision.”
Some of the supporters said they don’t believe the charges despite prosecutors’ claim that the men confessed.
“We don’t believe that,” said Hafso Abdullah. We spoke to them personally and they told us they didn't confess.”
The three men face could face five years in prison on the current charges, but if prosecutors link them to more robberies that police believe they were involved in, the men could face up to 14 years in prison.