Third and final Lansing man convicted on terrorism charges

They were found to have conspired to provide material support to ISIS
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Three Lansing residents have been convicted of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced Wednesday that Muse Muse, Mohamud Muse, and Mohamud Haji had been conspiring to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, more commonly referred to as “ISIS”.

Both Muse Muse and Mohamud Muse had already been convicted, and Wednesday the third and final suspect, Mohamud Haji, pleaded guilty to the federal crime.

On January 21, 2019, special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested defendant Muse Muse at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after he checked in for a flight to the first of a series of destinations on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia, with the goal of joining ISIS. Shortly thereafter, his brother Mohamud Muse and cousin Mohamed Haji were arrested as co-conspirators.

Court documents revealed that between December 2018 and January 2019, Muse Muse coordinated with an individual he believed to be a Somali ISIS fighter to wire funds to be used to purchase airline tickets for travel to Mogadishu, Somalia. There, he believed he would meet an ISIS representative for the next steps in becoming an ISIS fighter.

“All three defendants picked up money to provide Muse Muse the funds to travel to join ISIS, all three defendants pledged allegiance to ISIS in recorded videos, and all three submitted their videos to individuals they believed were associated with ISIS,” The Department of Justice wrote in a press release. “Additionally, throughout the conspiracy, all three defendants participated in numerous discussions during which they discussed traveling overseas to join ISIS and even adopted fighter aliases by which they would be known when fighting for ISIS.”

Muse Muse, Mohamud Muse, and Mohamud Haji were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

All three defendants will be sentenced at a later date by Chief United States District Judge Robert J. Jonker. The crime they have been convicted of is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, though the Court will determine the ultimate sentence after evaluating the sentencing guidelines, the nature and circumstances of the offense, and the history and characteristics of each defendant.

United States Attorney Andrew Birge said, “There is no priority higher for my Office than detecting, preventing and prosecuting terrorism. With this successful investigation and prosecution, the United States Attorney’s office and its law enforcement partners prevented these young men from assisting a dangerous international terrorist organization and held them accountable for conspiring to do so.”

“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue these investigations and hold accountable those who provide material support to foreign terrorist groups,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The successful disruption of Muse Muse’s plan to travel overseas, and the conviction of those who aided him in that plan, is the result of the hard work and dedication of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which remains committed to protecting the public from terror attacks.”

The FBI’s investigation was assisted by many more localized police agencies, including among other the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State University Police Department, Lansing Police Department, Grand Rapids Police Department and Grand Rapids Airport Police.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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