Your tax dollars used to join ISIS

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) recently released “Wastebook: The Farce Awakens” – a 286 page book on how the United States Government wastes your hard earned money.

The list of the top 100 “wasteful spending” of America’s tax dollars includes studies on whether “Koozies” keep drinks cool ($1.3 Million), Monkeys on a Treadmill ($1 Million), pizza addiction ($780K), Wine Classes for Minors ($853K) and Majoring in Terrorism ($2,000).

That’s right. Majoring in Terrorism ranks at #24 on the “Wasteful Spending” list.

According to the “Wastebook”, two young men from Minnesota spent federal student aid in 2014 in an attempt to join ISIS. Both men were charged with “conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization”, namely ISIS, and charged as well with financial aid fraud.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported earlier this year that Hamza Ahmed, 21 of Savage and Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19 of Minneapolis “withdrew more than $1,000 in federal financial aid funds to purchase international airline tickets”.  Ahmed used his aid money to purchase a flight to Istanbul, Turkey and Musse used similar funds to buy a ticket to travel to Greece. The pair planned on heading to Syria from those two destinations, authorities say. Ahmed and Musse were part of a group of seven young Somali-Americans from Minnesota who face charges of planning to leave the United States and fight alongside Islamic extremist groups.

Hanad Mustafe Musse pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group in September. He participated in several meetings throughout 2014 in which he and his co-conspirators discussed traveling to Syria to join ISIS, including how they would pay for the travel and which routes they could take from Minnesota to Syria to best elude law enforcement and the feasibility of using fraudulent travel documents to travel to Syria, according to the United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota.

Hamza Ahmed had boarded his flight but was taken off the plane by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Ahmed is being held without bail, in part because of his threatening social media posts. In one tweet, Ahmed said, “I’ve always wanted to be a martyr.”

Both men had been students at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).

It seems that the abuse of federal student aid money by the pair of community college students is not a one-time anomaly. Organized fraud rings and con artists have been taking advantage of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program for years. In one year, the Department of Education Office of Inspector General estimates that more than 34,000 crime ring participants improperly received federal student aid.

Federal student financial assistance is attractive to criminals because there is no credit check involved and has few restrictions on how the money can be spent. The Wastebook says that criminals have focused on community college programs due to their low tuition, which leaves extra money that can be easily be directed to non-educational items with virtually little or no accountability according to the American Association of Community Colleges. A director of financial aid at one community college said that they can not control how the students spend their financial aid money. “Ultimately, if they qualify for funding, it is theirs to spend.”

And because there is little accountability over how federal student aid money is spent, it is not difficult to spend the money on non-educational items, like joining ISIS or other nefarious things. The Wastebook notes that one of the Boston Marathon Bombers received more than $5,500 in educational aid, including Federal Pell Grants and Cash (ACCESS) Grants to attend two separate community colleges in Massachusetts, however it is unknown if he used any of his student aid to support the bombing that killed 3 spectators and wounded more than 260 other people.

AlphaNews contacted Congressman John Kline’s office.  Kline is Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  Congressman Kline’s office had no comment on the misuse of student aid funds being used to purchase airline tickets so Minnesotans could join ISIS.

You can read more about how the government wastes taxpayer dollars in the “Wastebook: The Farce Awakens” here.

Contributor Alpha News