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Teen Used Federal Financial Aid in Attempt to Join ISIS

Minnesota resident Hanad Mustofe Musse pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring with no fewer than eight individuals to travel to Syria and provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organization ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/the Levant) using federal aid funds.

19-year-old “Musse conspired to provide material support to ISIL and attempted to travel to Syria to join their ranks overseas,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.

U.S. Attorney Luger said, “This defendant made multiple attempts to leave Minnesota to join ISIL—criminal prosecution was the best remaining option to stop him and potentially save his life. Twin Cities’ youth continue to be the targets of an intense recruiting campaign by ISIL.”

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Musse admitted in his plea that he became aware of individuals in the United States attempting and succeeding in joining ISIL. Musse also admitted that he joined the recruitment group knowing ISIL was engaged in terrorist activity.

“Between Oct. 20, 2014, and Nov. 6, 2014, Musse made five cash withdrawals from his federal financial aid account totaling $2,400. He deposited those funds in a personal checking account that he opened on Nov. 3, 2014. Musse later used those funds to purchase a bus ticket from Minneapolis to New York City,” read an FBI release.

At JFK International Airport, Musse and co-conspirator Zacharia Abdurahman bought tickets to Athens, Greece, intended as a transfer point to reach Syria. Federal agents stopped Musse before he was able to board the flight. At the time, Musse lied about the true purpose of the trip.

“The defendant admitted in his guilty plea that after their failed November 2014 attempt to fly overseas, Musse and co-conspirators Mohamed Farah, Abdurahman and Ahmed met to discuss and coordinate false responses to anticipated law enforcement questions in an effort to conceal their intention to travel to Syria to join ISIL,” according to the FBI.

The co-conspirators continued to meet through winter and the following spring, conspiring to make another attempt to get to Syria and join ISIL. A scheme was borne out of these meetings.

Musse initially complied with a plan to obtain false passports and fly out of Mexico to get overseas. Musse’s family learned that he planned to travel, which sparked him to request the return of the passport photo he had provided for false documents. According to the FBI, he admitted that he was not pulling out of the conspiracy to join ISIL, but rather attempting to preserve a future attempt to travel and join ISIL in Syria.

Breitbart News previously reported on two men caught in San Diego as part of a plot to join ISIS. One was named as a co-conspirator of Musse in Wednesday’s FBI statement. An April press conference on the conspiracy emphasized that the group’s participants were not confused young men, but dedicated individuals “intent on joining terror organization by any means possible.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

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