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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

FBI arrests Pakistani doctor trying to JOIN ISIS

According to the allegations in the complaint, Masood, a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a Research Coordinator for a medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, under an H-1B Visa. Pakistanis living in the US may face difficulties pertaining to this arrest.

A Pakistani doctor and former employee at a prestigious US medical research center was arrested on terrorism charges after telling FBI informants he sought to join Islamic State, hoping to launch attacks on their behalf.

The 28-year-old doctor, Muhammad Masood, was apprehended by the FBI at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and charged on one count of providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Masood – who formerly worked as a research coordinator at the esteemed Mayo Clinic based in Rochester, Minnesota – was residing in the US on a work visa, prosecutors say.

Beginning in January, he told several paid FBI informants of his desire to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and pledged allegiance to its leader, under the impression the informants were also members of the infamous terrorist group.

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“There is so much I wanted to do here… lon wulf [sic] stuff you know,” the young doctor told one of the informants, according to the FBI, adding: “But I realized I should be on the ground helping brothers, sisters, kids” – apparently referring to Syria, where IS remains active in small pockets.

At one point in the investigation, an informant arranged a video call between Masood and a man he believed was an IS commander based overseas, with the doctor allegedly stating he was ready to join the group as a combat medic.

He would also tell one of the FBI cut-outs that he wanted to “fight on the front line as well as help the wounded brothers” in Syria, Iraq or northern Iran.

The FBI says its interest in Masood was piqued early this year after he posted on social media expressing his intent to join the militant group.

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But only after booking a flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles – where he planned to meet with an Islamic State fixer he believed would help him travel to Syria – did the FBI make an arrest, which came on Thursday.

Islamic State – also known by its Arabic acronym ‘Daesh’ – arose from the remnants of Iraq’s Al-Qaeda faction and gained global infamy in 2014 after a wave of ruthless attacks across Iraq and Syria.

At one point, it controlled a swath of land the size of Britain. While the group has since lost its territorial foothold in the Middle East, small cells remain active as the group transitions back to low-level insurgency.

RT with additional input from GVS News Desk.