MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 25 (UPI) — A Minnesota man accused of using settlement money from a 2007 bridge collapse to finance trips to Syria was charged by the Department of Justice with aiding the Islamic State.
Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, 20, was charged in absentia Wednesday with providing and conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State. He allegedly traveled to Syria and joined IS after he turned 18, when he received a $91,000 settlement for injuries sustained in a bridge collapse.
When he was 10, Roble was one of 145 people injured when an Interstate 35 highway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis failed, killing 13 people. He was aboard a bus on the bridge when it fell.
Investigators said he traveled to Syria several weeks after receiving the settlement, and used the funds to pay for his transportation, as well as for cars and wedding receptions for fellow jihadists in Syria.
Federal authorities believe Roble is alive in Syria.
His uncle, Abdi Nur, was previously charged in absentia with similar crimes, and was believed killed while an IS militant in Syria. The charges against Roble are part of an FBI investigation into IS recruitment in the Minneapolis area, which has thus far resulted in the conviction of nine men on charges of helping IS.
Roble’s name came up during the May trial of Abdirahman Daud, Mohamed Farah and Guled Omar. Roble attended meetings with the three men, who were aware he was to receive a financial settlement, an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Daniel Higgins said.
The affidavit added an ATM card connected to Roble’s checking account was used in Gaziantep, Turkey, about 45 times in 2014 and 2015 to withdraw about $47,000. The town is 35 miles from a border crossing into Syria which was popular with “jihadist-oriented travelers,” Higgins wrote.