Somali-American reporter treated differently at ISIS trial

MPR reporter Mukhtar Ibrahim thinks the security people at federal court know who he is. And why wouldn’t they? For more than a year, he’s been covering the case of local men charged with plotting to join ISIS in Syria.

But he was prevented from entering the courtroom with the rest of the media yesterday, the day jury selection began in the latest case.

A white reporter was allowed through security and into the courtroom, but Ibrahim was stopped and told to wait with the rest of the public. His press credentials did no good.

Ibrahim didn’t argue; he waited until the courtroom was open to the public, then covered the day’s events.

“They know who I am, they see me every day,” Ibrahim tells City Pages. “I’m not a stranger coming to cover this case from the East Coast. I’ve been covering this case since day one. They know I’m a reporter.”

Why was he treated differently than other reporters?

“I like to stick to the facts,” Ibrahim told City Pages, “so I’ll let people make their own conclusions of this.”

Ibrahim, who is the first Somali-American reporter to work at a major news outlet in the state, was awarded a Bush fellowship earlier this year. He’ll complete a master’s program at Columbia.