MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A federal grand jury has indicted a Rochester man for attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Muhammad Masood, 28, was arrested in March and is being held at the Sherburne County Jail pending further court action.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Minnesota says Masood, a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a Research Coordinator at a medical clinic in Rochester under an H-1B Visa. He’s accused of making 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. Court documents also state Masood expressed his desire to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in the United States.
Federal prosecutors say Masood bought a plane ticket from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, on February 21 and from there planned to travel to Syria. Jordan closed its borders on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic and Masood allegedly 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 traveled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to board a flight bound for Los Angeles and was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force after checking in for his flight.
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.