Three Africans from Kenya—all legal immigrants to the US—have been arrested in Lansing, Michigan, for “conspiring to provide material support” to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) after one of the gang tried to board a flight to Mogadishu, Somalia on Monday.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan, members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) arrested Muse Abdikadir Muse (Muse Muse) at the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after checking in for a flight to the first of a series of destinations on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia.
Shortly thereafter, law enforcement arrested alleged coconspirators Mohamud Abdikadir Muse (Mohamud Muse), and Mohamed Salat Haji (Haji). All three defendants are naturalized U.S. citizens who were born in Kenya.
According to the complaint affidavit, Muse Muse purchased airline tickets earlier this month to travel from Grand Rapids to Mogadishu, departing on Monday, January 21, 2019.
Among other support, the complaint alleged Haji and Mohamud Muse aided in the purchase of the ticket and drove Muse Muse to the Grand Rapids airport, each knowing the true purpose of the travel was for Muse Muse to join and fight for ISIS.
The complaint asserts that all three defendants pledged allegiance to ISIS through videos they recorded themselves. Muse Muse and Haji discussed with each other their desire to join ISIS, to kill non-believers, and even to potentially use a car for a “martyrdom operation” to run down “non-believers” in the United States if they could not travel overseas to fight for ISIS.
An undercover FBI employee posing as a man in Somalia started communicating with Muse Abdikadir Muse in the fall of 2018. The undercover operative told Muse Abdikadir Muse that he presented the oath video to ISIS leadership in Somalia and it was accepted.
Muse Abdikadir Muse later sent oath videos from his brother and brother-in-law, which the agent confirmed were also accepted by ISIS leadership, according to the complaint. After Muse Abdikadir Muse requested $1,200 from ISIS to help pay for airfare to Somalia’s capital, the funds were sent by the FBI—posing as ISIS—in increments to the three relatives as well as a third undercover FBI employee whom they believed planned to accompany them on the journey.