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Rochester man pleads guilty to attempting to help ISIS

Muhammad Masoon, 30, of Rochester, attempted to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. He was arrested in Minneapolis while trying to travel to Syria in 2020.

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MINNEAPOLIS — A 30-year-old Rochester man pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a disignated foreign terrorist organization, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to the news release:

Muhammad Masoon, a license medical doctor in Pakistan, was previously employed as a research coordinator at Mayo Clinic under an H-1B Visa.

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Between January 2020 and March 2020, Masoon expressed wanting to travel to Syria for fight for Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, pledge his allegiance to the organization and wanted to conduct "lone wolf" terrorist attacks in the United States.
On Feb. 21, 2020, Masood purchased a plane ticket from Chicago 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 planned to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet up with an individual whom 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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The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter, and Dmitriy Slavin and Stephanie Sweeten of the National Security Division.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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