Pakistani doctor who was on H-1B visa, sentenced to 18 years for attempting to provide material support to ISIS


A Minnesota man was sentenced August 25, 2023, to 216 months in prison, equivalent to 18 years, followed by five years of supervised release for attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Muhammad Masood, 31, pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2022, to attempting to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization. He was sentenced before Senior Judge Paul A. Magnuson.

According to a press release from the Justice Department which is based on court documents, 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 used an encrypted messaging application to facilitate his travel overseas to join a terrorist organization. He made multiple statements about his desire to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), and he pledged his allegiance to the designated terrorist organization and its leader, the Justice Department press release said.

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 then agreed 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.



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