A 28-year-old Pakistani doctor on H-1B visa has been indicted by a federal grand jury on pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terror group and expressing his desire to carry out “lone wolf” terror attacks in the US.
According to the indictment, Muhammad Masood, a licensed medical doctor from Pakistan, was formerly employed as a research coordinator at a reputed medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The indictment against Masood was announced on Friday by US Attorney Erica MacDonald. Masood was initially charged by criminal complaint and has been in custody since his March 19 arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Between January and March this year, he made several statements to others, including pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and its leader, and expressing his desire to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. Masood also expressed his desire to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in the United States, the court papers said.
On February 21 this year, Masood purchased a plane ticket from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, and from there planned to travel to Syria.
On March 16 this year, Masood’s travel plans changed because Jordan closed its borders to incoming travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He made a new plan to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet up with an individual who he believed would assist him with travel via cargo ship to deliver him to ISIS territory.
On March 19, Masood travelled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to board a flight bound for Los Angeles, California.
Upon arrival at the MSP, Masood checked in for his flight and was subsequently arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Masood is in custody at the Sherburne County Jail, Fox News reported on Friday.
According to the allegations in the complaint, Masood, a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was working in a medical clinic in Rochester under an H-1B visa.