Minnesota Muslims used college loans to pay for airfare to Syria to wage jihad
Two Twin Cities men charged with conspiracy to fight alongside terrorists now face financial fraud charges for allegedly using their college loans to purchase airline tickets to fly to the Middle East.
In a superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota, Hamza Ahmed and Hanad Mustafe Musse were charged with using more than $1,000 of financial aid provided to them.
Ahmed, 20, of Savage, and Musse, 19, of Minneapolis, are among seven young Somali-Americans from Minnesota who face charges of planning to leave the United States and fight alongside Islamic extremist groups. Six of them were charged in April.
During the past two years, more than 20 Somali-Americans from Minnesota have left to fight alongside terrorists with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, according to the FBI.
The new indictment says that Ahmed and Musse bought airline tickets on Nov. 8, 2014, from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Europe, using more than $1,000 in federal college financial aid. Ahmed used his aid money to purchase a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, authorities say. Musse used similar funds to buy a ticket to travel to Greece. From those two destinations, authorities say the pair then planned on heading to Syria. Ahmed had actually boarded his flight when he was ordered off the plane by officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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