A Rochester man who had previously worked as a researcher for the Mayo Clinic entered a guilty plea in federal court on Tuesday for attempting to support terrorists.
According to investigations, Muhammad Masood, 30, swore allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in 2020 and made efforts to assist them. Unsettled is the date of the sentence hearing.
Masood is a registered physician in Pakistan, according to the authorities, and he previously worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester while on an H-1B visa. The hospital system said that when he was arrested, he was not an employee of the Mayo Clinic.
Masood reportedly told many persons between January 2020 and March 2020 that he intended to go to Syria to fight for ISIS.
According to police, Masood allegedly expressed interest in participating in “lone wolf” terrorist strikes against Americans.
Masood bought a ticket from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, on February 21, 2020, with the intention of traveling to Syria from there, according to the investigators. Masood’s travel arrangements were altered on March 16 of that year, though, as Jordan closed its borders to inbound travel because of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to officials.
According to police, Masood then intended to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet up with someone who he believed would assist him in taking a cargo ship to get to ISIS territory.
According to the police, Masood flew to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on March 19, 2020, from Rochester in order to take a trip to Los Angeles.
Masood checked in for his flight at MSP, though, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI later detained him.