Mohamed Haji, 28 of Lansing, pleaded guilty along with two co-defendants, Muse Muse and Mohamud Muse, who admitted to the same offense in January 2020.
Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan made the announcement.
The charges were filed following an investigation into the three men between December 2018 and January 2019.
"According to court documents ... co-defendant 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 he believed he would meet an ISIS representative," the DOJ wrote.
The trio "picked up money" to assist Muse Muse to travel to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, to join ISIS, and they allegedly "pledged allegiance to ISIS in recorded videos, and submitted their videos to individuals they believed were associated with ISIS."
Muse was arrested in January 2019 at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids when he was attempting to travel to Mogadishu.
On Jan. 21, 2019, special agents of the FBI and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) arrested defendant Muse Muse at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, when he was attempting to travel to Mogadishu.He checked in for a flight to the first of a series of destinations on his way to Mogadishu with the goal of joining ISIS. Shortly thereafter, his brother Mohamud Muse and cousin Mohamed Haji were arrested as co-conspirators.
"(The three men) were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization," the DOJ announced.
Muse, Mohamud Muse and Haji were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. This federal offense required the government to prove that Haji: (1) agreed with one or more individuals to provide material support or resources (which includes personnel) to ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization; (2) knew that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization or had engaged or engages in terrorist activity; and (3) is a U.S. national or some part of the offense occurred in the United States. Haji admitted each of those elements of the crime.
Haji is expected to be sentenced Sept. 22 and faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.