Late last week the United States Attorney for Minnesota filed a criminal complaint charging former Mohamed Roble with consiracy to support ISIS. He’s both the eleventh “Minnesota man” to be charged in the case and (by my count) the sixth Muhammad to make an appearance. The Star Tribune reports the story here.
Roble is another young Somali Muslim who joined in the conspiracy with the nine who have been convicted of seeking to wage jihad with ISIS in Syria. Like the only one of the ten who has not yet been convicted in the case, Roble has succeeded in his quest; he is a Minnesota man no more.
Roble’s case stands apart from the ten because he has taken advantage of $91,654 in payments by Minnesota taxpayers to fund his adventures with ISIS: he has dedicated the compensation paid him as a survivor of the 2007 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis to the cause. The Star Tribune summarizes this part of the story:
According to Higgins’ affidavit, an ATM card associated with Roble’s checking account was used roughly 45 times after he traveled to Istanbul. Between December 2014 and March 2015, those withdrawals totaled more than $47,000 and all came from near Gaziantep, Turkey — about 35 miles from a border crossing into Syria popular with “jihadist-oriented travelers,” Higgins said.
Roble’s debit card was also used to buy clothing, sporting goods and electronics in Gaziantep before he traveled to Kilis, about 40 miles away from the ISIL stronghold Aleppo.
According to trial testimony [this past May], Roble kept in touch with friends back home and his deep pockets became the source of banter among co-conspirators. In conversations secretly recorded by Bashiir, Omar described Roble as passing out money like “candy” in Syria. Omar said Roble purchased cars for fellow ISIL fighters and paid for several weddings.
It’s a touching story if by “touching” we mean “enraging.”