Yesterday you learned about the Muslim refugee in Maine who collected welfare for four years while training for jihad.
Today, more details on information we shared with readers back in May on the Somali Muslim who survived 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse now in Syria fighting with ISIS.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A survivor of the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people now faces terror charges after authorities say he traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State group, departing the U.S. just a few weeks after collecting more than $91,000 in settlement money for his injuries.
Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, 20, was charged Wednesday with providing and conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
He was weeks shy of his 11th birthday when the school bus he was riding in plummeted about 30 feet as the bridge collapsed. Roble, one of 145 people who were hurt, received the settlement funds on his 18th birthday.
Roble’s name first surfaced in May during the federal trial of three Minnesota men who were convicted of conspiring to join the Islamic State group. The bridge collapse wasn’t mentioned at trial, but The Associated Press made the connection using public records.
Working phone numbers and current addresses for Roble’s family members were not available and they could not be reached for comment.
Court documents filed Wednesday show Roble received three court settlements when he turned 18 that totaled $91,654. That money included a $65,431 payment from the state’s settlement fund.
According to evidence presented in federal court in May, Roble flew to Istanbul in October 2014 as part of an itinerary that included a trip to China. He was due to return to the U.S. in June 2015, but never did, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer Joel Pajak testified.
“We received information that Mr. Roble ended up in Syria with his uncle, Abdi Nur,” Pajak testified.
The FBI affidavit says Roble withdrew more than $47,000 from his accounts over three months in 2014 while he was in Turkey.
“This large sum is consistent with previously mentioned CHS reports that Roble was financially supporting himself and other members of ISIL, including by purchasing vehicles to be used by members of ISIL,” the affidavit said. The “CHS” was a confidential informant working for the government.
Nur is among 10 men charged in the case and is believed to have joined the Islamic State group. Nine others have been convicted on terror charges in Minnesota.
Prosecutors say the men were part of a group of friends in Minnesota’s Somali community who recruited and inspired each other to join the Islamic State group. The FBI has said that roughly a dozen young men have left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria in recent years.
The affidavit filed Wednesday says that Nur was last known to be living in Syria with the Islamic State group. Authorities say Roble and Nur accessed internet accounts from the same computer IP address within minutes of each other in May 2015, supporting that they were in the same location.
Federal prosecutors say Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble of Minneapolis left the country shortly after he turned 18 and collected more than $91,000 as part of a settlement for injuries he received in the bridge collapse.
His first stop, in October 2014, was to Beijing on a trip with his mother. And then, Roble flew to Wuhan, China, and then took two trips to Turkey. He’s never returned from his second trip, and authorities believe he’s fighting for ISIS in Syria.
Prosecutors haven’t said whether Roble used the bridge-collapse money to finance the travels of other Minnesotans, but they say he has generously shared it with his fellow ISIS members in Syria, even paying for vehicles to be used by the terrorist group. He withdrew a total of roughly $47,000 from his checking account while in Turkey near the Syrian border.
In audio recordings secretly taped by a friend who turned into an FBI informant, another man in the conspiracy, Guled Omar, told the others that Roble — known to his friends as “Rose” — was in Syria “passing out money like it’s candy,” according to a government transcript.
Prosecutors have charged Roble with supporting ISIS and conspiring to support the terrorist group.
Roble is the nephew of Abdi Nur, another young Minneapolis man who prosecutors say made it to Syria and allegedly helped recruit his friends back home to ISIS.
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