WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Pakistani doctor in Rochester is accused of trying to help the terrorist group ISIS.
Muhammad Masood, 28, was arrested Thursday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and is being held pending a formal detention hearing on March 24.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Masood, a licensed doctor in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a research coordinator at a Rochester medical clinic. He’s charged with attempt to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Federal authorities say that between January and March, Masood made statements pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, also known as ISIS, and expressing a desire to travel to Syria to fight for the terror group. Investigators say Masood also indicated a willingness to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in the United States.
Masood is accused of buying a plane ticket from Chicago to Amman, Jordan on February 21. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Masood’s plans changed because Jordan closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Masood allegedly made a new plan to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles and meet with someone there who be believed would help him board a cargo ship that would take him to ISIS territory.
Investigators say Masood traveled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to board a flight for Los Angeles on Thursday. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Masood after he checked in for his flight.