Abdullah and Majid Alrifahe: Wannabe terrorists or feloniously stupid humans?

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"The first encounter I had with them," he says of Abdullah, left, and Majid Alrifahe, " I thought they were just jerk offs.… But knowing what I know now… I am certain they had something else in mind."

The 62-year-old north Minneapolis man doesn't get out much. Not since sustaining a back injury in 2013 while working as an engine attendant for Canadian Pacific Railway.

When he does make it out of his apartment for a little exercise, it's a walk down the block to the bus stop and back near where Humboldt Avenue North t-bones at 44th Avenue.

On May 11 in the late afternoon, the man, who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity for fear of his personal safety, was taking the first steps of the return leg when he came upon two men inside a parked silver Volvo SUV.  

"I made eye contact with the driver and then the passenger," he says. "The way they both looked at me, I took it to mean as if they were saying, 'What the hell are you looking at?'"

The man paid the exchange no mind. By he did draw pause a few steps later. He watched as the driver threw snack cake wrappers out the window.

"Don't be littering my neighborhood!" the man scolded the driver and kept walking in the direction of his apartment.

A few steps beyond the Volvo, he heard a car door close. The passenger, who would later be identified as 26-year-old Majid Alrifahe, was walking toward him, cursing.

The man again paid it no mind — until he heard Majid drop the N-bomb.

"That's when I turned around and said something like, 'What hell did you say and what the hell gives you the right to call me that?'" the man says.  

The driver, Majid's brother, 27-year-old Abdullah Alrifahe, exited the ride. 

The man called 911, at which time he heard Abdullah say, "Fuckin' nigger is calling the cops on us!"

"I wasn't quite sure what it was I was facing," the resident recalls. "But I put my phone in my pocket and was bracing myself for whatever it was that was to come." 

It would be a Minneapolis Police squad within two minutes, the man estimates. One officer walked toward the brothers while the other would interview the victim. 

He was explaining what had transpired when he watched the other officer transform from calm and cool to pissed off.

"I don't know what [the Airifahes] said, but it obviously was enough that they were both soon in handcuffs," the man says. 

Two more squads were on the scene within minutes. One officer spotted "a handgun and a hand grenade" in plain view inside the SUV, according to the victim.

In addition to those items, authorities would eventually find assault rifles, ammunition, and what looked like a cache of bomb-making equipment.

Abdullah, whose address, according to court records, is the nearby Hamilton Manor public housing complex, was booked for felony carrying a pistol in public, the very same crime he was convicted of in December. He remains in custody in lieu of $200,000.

His brother was cited for misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct and released.

Six days later, the victim would encounter Majid again.    

"I was out walking again," the man says, "and that's when I see a dark gray car moving slow and the driver kinda looking over at me. I didn't recognize him at first."

Majid stared down the victim while rubbing his hands together, with his fingers pointed upward.

Majid, according to the victim, slowly followed him in the car back to his abode. By the time he called 911, Majid had sped off. 

The victim has taken out a restraining order against Majid. He's due in court Wednesday morning for a pretrial hearing. 

Majid couldn't be reached for comment. However, according to a story from late May by WCCO TV's Liz Collins, he told her that he was born in Baghdad, grew up in Texas, and has lived in Minneapolis on and off for the last 10 years.

He denied having any terrorist intentions.

The resident he allegedly menaced doesn't believe that for a minute.

"The first encounter I had with them I thought they were just jerk offs," he says. "Just somebody out to start some crap with anybody that they could at the time. But knowing what I know now and knowing what the officers found in their vehicle, I am certain they had something else in mind. I am one hundred percent certain of that. I don't know what or where, but I know that they had other intentions."

A source inside the police department says much of the contraband discovered in the SUV was either shell casings or, in the case of the grenade, hollowed out.

Still, the victim maintains the community should remain vigilant about the brothers.

"They're dumbasses with malintent and I call them that because I grew up in the [streets of Hammond, Indiana], and if you're going to do something you sure as hell don't start something with somebody when you got all that shit in your car," he says. "So that makes them dumbasses for doing that. So stupid in fact it makes them dangerous."

 


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