Minneapolis, Minnesota - Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, returned a single-count indictment against Muhammad Masood, 28, charging him with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Masood, who was initially charged in a criminal complaint on March 19, 2020, is currently in custody pending further court proceedings.
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, Masood, a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a Research Coordinator at a medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, under an H-1B Visa. Between January 2020 and March 2020, Masood 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. On Feb. 21, 2020, Masood purchased a plane ticket from Chicago, Illinois to Amman, Jordan, and from there planned to travel to Syria. On March 16, 2020, Masood’s travel plans changed because Jordan closed its borders to incoming travel due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Masood 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, 2020, Masood traveled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to board a flight bound for Los Angeles, California. Upon arrival at MSP, Masood checked in for his flight and was subsequently arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
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.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.