Washington, March 20: A Pakistani doctor was arrested in the United States on terror charges on Thursday. Muhammad Masood was taken into custody from the St. Paul International Airport by FBI agents in Minnesota's Minneapolis city. The arrest came after Muhammad Masood allegedly told paid FBI informants that he had pledged his allegiance to the terror outfit ISIS and wanted to carry out lone-wolf attacks in the US, a report said. Coronavirus Jolts Terror Group ISIS, Health Advisory Issued to Cadres, Told to Wash Hands, 'Flee From Sick Like a Lion'.
Masood, a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was working with a medical clinic in Rochester as a research coordinator. He came to the US under an H-1B visa. Following his arrest, Masood was produced before Magistrate Judge David Schultz in the US District Court in Minneapolis. He has been ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which is scheduled for March 24. Nigeria: ISIS Affiliate Executes 11 People to ‘Avenge Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Killing’.
According to prosecutors, Masood made several statements to others between January and March, pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). At one point, Masood messaged an informant "there is so much I wanted to do here .. .lon wulf stuff you know ... but I realized I should be on the ground helping brothers sisters kids," according to an FBI affidavit.
In February, Masood planned to travel to Syria via Jordan and purchased a plane ticket from Chicago, Illinois to Amman. However, he had to change his plans after Jordan closed its borders to incoming travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the complaint. He then contacted an individual who he believed would assist him with travel via cargo ship to deliver him to ISIS territory, it alleged.
On Thursday, he travelled from Rochester to St. Paul International Airport to board a flight bound for Los Angeles. Upon arrival at MSP, Masood checked in for his flight and was subsequently arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.