A man in Minnesota has been indicted by a federal grand jury on an attempt to provide a terrorist organization with material support, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Muhammad Masood has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Initially, the 28-year-old Pakistani national was charged in a criminal complaint in March, 2020.
Masood, who is licensed to practice medicine in his home country, was previously employed at a medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota under the H-1B Visa program.
Although the name of the clinic was not released by officials, a LinkedIn page for a man with the same name shows he has the same work history as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Mayo Clinic.
Between January 2020 and March 2020, procesutors say Masood pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and its leader. He also said he planned to fly to Syria to fight for the terrorist organization, as well as expressed desire to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in the United States.
Authorities allege Masood booked a ticket on February 21, 2020, originally planning to fly from Chicago, Illinois, to Amman, Jordan, and then to Syria. The coronavirus pandemic changed his plans, as Jordan closed its borders. Masood then planned to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet with someone he believed would assist him in traveling via cargo ship into ISIS territory.
Masood was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on March 19 after he checked in at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a flight to Los Angeles.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and Timothy C. Rank, with assistance from Trial Attorney Katie Sweeten of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
Masood is currently in custody in the Sherburne County Jail awaiting further court proceedings.
– – –
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]