Refugees arrested in Roanoke, VA for plot to kidnap women for ransom

Update August 13th:  The four plead guilty in July, here.

I was away over the Mother’s Day weekend and missed this shocking story when it first broke. Hat tip to Brenda Walker, VDARE author, for bringing it to my attention.    From WDBJ TV-7 in Roanoke which published the original federal press release:

United States Attorney Julia C. Dudley announced today that Joshua KASONGO of Roanoke (age 19), Mohamed Hussein GUHAD of Roanoke (age 19), Luke Musa ELBINO of Vinton (age 19) and Anthony Eugene MUSE of Roanoke (age 18), were indicted by a federal Grand Jury sitting in Roanoke, Virginia on May 7, 2009. Guhad was taken into custody by the FBI on May 1, 2009 and the other three defendants were arrested this morning without incident.

All four defendants were charged in a two count indictment with Kidnapping Conspiracy and Attempted Kidnapping. If convicted on both counts, the maximum penalty faced by the defendants is Life imprisonment and/or a fine of $500,000.

It is charged in the Indictment that KASONGO, GUHAD and ELBINO met to devise a scheme to kidnap the wives of wealthy men to hold for ransom. It was decided that KASONGO would plan the kidnappings and conduct the negotiations for ransom. It was decided that GUHAD would find a location to confine and secrete the kidnapped victims until the payment of ransom, and that GUHAD would obtain the implements necessary for the actual kidnappings, including but not limited to duct tape, rope, gloves, disguises and handcuffs. It was decided that ELBINO would use his laptop computer to identify and research potential targets for the kidnapping scheme.


GUHAD is a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and a citizen of Somalia; ELBINO is a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and a citizen of Sudan; KASONGO is a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and a citizen of Rwanda; and, MUSE is a U.S. citizen. GUHAD and MUSE are students at Patrick Henry High School; ELBINO is a student at Virginia Western Community College; and, KASONGO’s employment and/or academic activities are unknown.

On Thursday the four went before a judge: 

Four teenagers are accused of conspiring to kidnap the wives of wealthy men and hold them for ransom. Prosecutors say they drove around nice neighborhoods, including Hunting Hills, to search for victims.

On Thursday, Joshua Kasongo, Luke Elbino and Anthony Muse plead not guilty Thursday to kidnapping conspiracy and attempted kidnapping.

They are all being held without bond until their trials.

From these reports we learned that three of the four are former refugees, it is not clear how the fourth man came to be in the US.

In denying bond for the alleged kidnappers, Judge Michael Urbanski  noted their refugee origins and pronounced the circumstances “sad.”   From the Roanoke Times:

Over and over Thursday, the federal judge commented on the irony of the case before him: the children of refugee families who had fled terror and strife in Africa, now accused of a kidnapping plot.

In successive hearings in federal court in Roanoke, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski said the unlikely sounding scheme attributed to four teens — to abduct the wife of the CEO of a dental insurance company and hold her for ransom — outweighed their otherwise clean records.

The judge said he had to deny bond for Luke Musa Elbino, 19, of Vinton; Joshua Kasongo, 19, of Roanoke; and Anthony Eugene Boyd-Muse, 18, also of Roanoke. But he said their family histories made it a particularly hard decision.

Elbino came to the United States from Sudan, and Kasongo, a citizen of Congo, from Rwanda during the genocide there. A fourth defendant, Mohammed Hussein Guhad, 19, of Roanoke is from Somalia.

Guhad also was ordered held pending a bond hearing to be conducted next week.

Boyd-Muse is the only U.S. citizen charged, though all are in the country legally.

“They came here for the promise of this country,” Urbanski said of Elbino’s family. “This case is sad all around.”

For whom are you sad Judge?   It doesn’t sound like you have the frightened women who were stalked by these men at the top of your “sad” list.   Are you sad that these men ‘flipped the bird’ at the gift given them by the ‘humanitarians’ at the State Department and the volag federal contractors who brought them to America?  Or, are you sad for yourself because the myth of the beautiful American melting pot has been tarnished?

How about the Somali gang murders in Minneapolis and Seattle, or the Sudanese murders and rampages in Maine, Utah and Arizona, or the refugee rampage in Binghamton, New York, did you know about any of those?    Well, you wouldn’t be expected to because the mainstream media rarely mentions them.  They could hardly miss the carnage in Binghamton, but note how quickly the media has forgotten that story.

However, Judge, haven’t you been following the stories about problems with refugees right there in “welcoming” Roanoke?   Just over a year ago I pointed out the growing conflict between American blacks and African refugees in Roanoke here.  And, on top of that Roanoke is getting a wave of Iraqi refugees who are increasingly angry because they don’t have work, here.    Is it any wonder that kidnapping sounded like a good and lucrative plan!   Besides, these men come from a culture where kidnapping for ransom is common, could you possibly expect a few years in America would wipe out their original culture!

Rumor: Refugees are exempt from taxes….

…..for a certain period of time.   This is from reader ‘bearinggifts’:

There is a persistent rumor out there according to which refugees who start businesses are exempt from taxes for a period of time. the tax-free time is usually stated as 3 years.

Sometimes this rumor has it that they pay no taxes of any type (eg., no income taxes, if employed) for a period of time. I kind of doubt this version of the rumor, but was wondering about the business tax exemption. It really sounds like something the corrupt SBA would do.

‘Bearinggifts,’ I keep hearing the rumor too about refugees not paying federal income tax for 3 years, but if that is true that would be a bombshell piece of information.  I’m guessing it is more likely that their income is so low they fall into that huge segment of the American population that pays no taxes anyway (you know the ones Obama wants to redistribute the wealth to).

I don’t know about the small business angle except that refugees get all sorts of opportunities through micro-loans and special savings accounts (IDAs) to start businesses.

Judy wrote favorably of such loans here.  I would be interested to know in light of the banking crisis how many of those loans have gone into default.  Note also in Judy’s story that a volag is involved in the lending—International Institute of St. Louis.  Is this more of the taxpayer-money racket these volags have gotten into?

I have written less favorably of micro-loans geared to immigrants and refugees here because these loans use special Sharia financing rules.  And, here for several reasons, not the least of which is that this favoritism creates animosity in small communities where American citizens wonder why they can’t get such good deals.

I’m getting off track.  As for the tax question,  ‘bearinggifts,’ I don’t know if those businesses are tax-exempt for a period of time.  Does anyone know?

Rumors is a new category we launched last week to try to find the facts behind many aspects of the Refugee Resettlement Program of the federal government.   Because the program is run so secretively, rumors abound.  And, frankly it is to the program’s detriment.  From the very beginning in Hagerstown, MD I’ve contended that informing the public is critically important.   If the program is a good one it should withstand public scrutiny.