Pakistani Doctor Who Worked At Mayo Clinic Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Join ISIS

A doctor from Pakistan who worked at the Mayo Clinic in New York has pleaded guilty in federal court to attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

Muhammad Masood, 30, entered his guilty plea last Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. He admitted telling an FBI informant that he wanted to engage in “lone wolf” terror activities in the U.S. and that he also wanted to “fight for ISIS overseas.”

He also admitted that he bought a plane ticket to fly to Jordan so that he could travel from there to Syria to carry out his plan to join the ISIS fighting force.

The affidavit that was filed with the court to support the criminal charge against Masood indicated that he said the reason for his planned trip was to “kill and get killed.” He also said that he hated “smiling at the passing kuffar (derogatory Arabic term for a non-Muslim) just to not make them suspicious.”

The government alleged that Masood changed his travel plans because of travel restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jordan closed its airports to foreign travel, leading Masood to travel instead to Los Angeles where he thought the FBI informant in the case would help him travel aboard a cargo ship bound for ISIS territory in the Middle East.

Masood was unable to find travel accommodations by sea and was subsequently arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on March 19, 2020.

After accepting Masood’s guilty plea last week, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said that the defendant will be sentenced at a hearing to be scheduled for a later date.

Masood is one of several foreign nationals recently apprehended in the U.S. either supporting or planning to support ISIS against America and the West.

Uzbekistani Dilkhayot Kasimov was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in New York City in June to 15 years in federal prison for conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to ISIS. He was convicted for arranging financing for others to travel to join ISIS and then enter its fighting force.

American Allison Fluke-Ekren was charged in January for providing material support to ISIS. She moved from Kansas to Syria in 2012 and married a terrorist ISIS leader. She became a firearms trainer for ISIS combatants in Syria and expressed interest in bombing a shopping mall or college campus inside the U.S.

A study of ISIS supporters captured in the U.S. between 2013 and 2020 showed that very few of them would fail a criminal background check and a substantial number of them used legal fundraising methods to support terrorist activities.