Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to ISIL Conspiracy

     (CN) – A Minnesota man pleaded guilty Wednesday to plotting with several other men to travel to Syria and Join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
     Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
     Prosecutors alleged Musse and at least eight other men described as his co-conspirators made multiple attempts to leave Minnesota and travel to Syria to support ISIL.
     In a written statement they said Musse joined a group of aspiring travelers with the understanding that ISIL was a designated foreign terrorist organization that engaged in terrorism and terrorist activity.
     “The defendant participated in several meetings throughout 2014 in which he and his co-conspirators discussed traveling to Syria to join ISIL, including how they would pay for such travel, what routes they could take from Minnesota to Syria to best elude law enforcement and the feasibility of using fraudulent travel documents to travel to Syria,” prosecutors said.
     Between Oct. 20, 2014, and Nov. 6, 2014, they said, 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.
     Appearing in court Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, Musse admitted that once in New York, he met with other ISIL supports at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and purchased a round-trip ticket to Athens, Greece.
     From Athens, he said, he planned to travel into Syria and join the terrorist organization.
     Musse also admitted that after this attempt failed, he continued to meet with his co-conspirators throughout the winter and spring of 2015 to discuss and plan another effort to travel to Syria to join ISIL.
     Prosecutors said this plan involved travelling from Minnesota to Mexico and then flying overseas to join ISIL using fake passports. This plan unraveled because the individual to whom Musse had provided a passport photo of himself was s federal informant.
     Musse was initially charged by criminal complaint on April 20, 2015, and was subsequently indicted on May 19, 2015.
     Judge Davis did not set a sentencing date for Musse, who now faced a maximum of 15 years in prison. Two other charges against him were dropped as part of the plea deal.

%d bloggers like this: