It all started with a complaint over littering – and ended with two men arrested and the discovery of an arsenal of guns and bomb-making devices by Minneapolis police. Now, local authorities have flagged the arrests for review by the Department of Homeland Security.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with the man who called police to the scene. He asked us not to use his name because he doesn’t want any more attention than what he’s already received. He said he walked by a parked SUV near the intersection of North 44th Avenue and Humboldt Avenue North the evening of May 11 when he said he saw someone throw food wrappers out of a vehicle window onto the ground.
“My guardian angels steered me in that direction, and it just mushroomed from there,” the man said.
He said the two men in the car started fighting with him after he asked them to clean up the trash, and he paused to get the vehicle’s license plate number. The man said he called 911 after the men got out of the car and indicated they had guns.
“It caused me to be on alert,” he said. “What’s really going on here?”
Court documents reveal the responding officers found a hand grenade, handgun, assault rifles, magazines and a large quantity of ammunition inside the SUV. The documents also indicate officers found cellphones, computers and electronics equipment, including drone parts, which the bomb squad determined could be used to build a bomb.
“The more police showed up — and there were quite a few who showed up — the more it started to overwhelm me with the question of what’s really going on here,” the man said.
Abdullah N. Alrifahe, 27, is facing a felony charge for carrying a pistol in public without a permit. In December, he was convicted of the same offense.
The other man in the SUV, Majid Alrifahe, 26, is charged with assault and disorderly conduct. He has been released from jail. Our attempts to locate him at the address he gave police were unsuccessful.
We reached out to Homeland Security to ask about the department’s review of the arrests, but federal officials did not provide any more information about the case.