GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) –It was announced yesterday that a Lansing man has been sentenced to 130 months in prison for conspiring to provide materials support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”), a terrorist organization.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on January 21, 2019, FBI special agents and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Mohamed Salat Haji at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
Haji had helped his cousin, Muse Muse, check-in for a flight to the first of a series of destinations on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia, with the goal of joining ISIS.
Another relative, Mohamud Muse, also was arrested for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Muse was ordered to spend 12 years under the supervision of the court, after being released from prison.
Following US Sentencing Guidelines, the government sought out a sentence of 240 months.
Court documents state 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, where Muse believed he would meet an ISIS representative.
All three defendants picked up money for Muse Muse to travel and join ISIS. The three defendants pledged their allegiance to ISIS in recorded videos, and all three submitted their videos to individuals they believed were associated with ISIS.
Records provided to the Court at sentencing showed that the conspiracy began in January 2017, with all three defendants participated in numerous conversations during which they discussed traveling overseas to join ISIS, even adopting fighter aliases when fighting for ISIS.
Haji pled guilty in June 2021, admitting that he agreed with one or more individuals to provide material support or resources to ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization.
It was confirmed by Haji that he knew that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization or had engaged or engages in terrorist activity or terrorism.
Finally, Haji acknowledged that he is a U.S. national and that part of the offense occurred in the United States. Haji stated that the individuals he conspired with were his relatives and co-defendants, Muse Muse and Mohamud Muse.
In August 2021, Muse Muse was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison and Mohamud Muse was sentenced to serve 98 months in prison for their roles in the plot.