H.M.

H.M. is a Minnesotan man who traveled to Turkey and entered Syria in March 2014. When in Syria, he reported to his family that he was serving as a border guard. While it is unknown which organization he joined, H.M.’s associates in the United States intended to join ISIS. H.M. has not lawfully reentered the U.S. since leaving for Turkey and is believed to still be fighting in Syria. The FBI has only released his initials.“United States of America v. Abdullah Yusuf and Abdi Nur,” District Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, November 24, 2014, 19-20, http://www.justice.gov/file/179486/download.

Prior to his departure, H.M.’s intentions to travel to Syria were unknown to his family, but three of H.M.’s cousins had traveled to Syria in the past. Later investigation revealed he met with all three before they left the United States.“United States of America v. Abdullah Yusuf and Abdi Nur,” District Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, November 24, 2014, 19-20, http://www.justice.gov/file/179486/download.

Beyond his relatives, H.M. was connected to a network of foreign fighters within the United States. Investigations of fighters apprehended after H.M.’s departure revealed extensive communication between H.M. and other Somali-American fighters intending to fight in Syria. Additionally, the debit card H.M. used to purchase his tickets to Turkey was also used to purchase tickets for an unnamed Somali-American foreign fighter. In a pattern consistent with the cases of other foreign fighters, money for the tickets was deposited into the bank account associated with card only in the days before the tickets were purchased.“United States of America v. Abdullah Yusuf and Abdi Nur,” District Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, November 24, 2014, 19-20, http://www.justice.gov/file/179486/download.

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