18-year-old arrested after trying to join terrorist group

 December 22, 2023

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested an 18-year-old man for allegedly attempting to join the ISIS terrorist group. 

The FBI indicated as much in a press release that it published on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023.

The 18-year-old has been identified as Humzah Mashkoor of Westminster, Colorado.

Mashkoor has been charged with "attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization."

The allegations

9 News, a local NBC affiliate, reports the details of the criminal complaint that has been filed against Mashkoor.

"The complaint says the FBI first began investigating the teen in November 2021 after some of his social media posts were flagged for declaring support for ISIS," the outlet reports.

It continues:

Over the next two years, the suspect communicated with FBI agents who were posing as fellow ISIS supporters online. During these conversations, the complaint says the teen "repeatedly expressed his intent to travel in order to join ISIS as a fighter, to provide money to ISIS to support their efforts, and to recruit others to also support ISIS through travel and/or financial contributions."

Mashkoor's age, however, prevented him from carrying out his plans. He needed to be 18 years old before he could travel and transfer money without his parents' permission. The complaint says that Mashkoor began to take more concrete steps toward joining ISIS as his 18th birthday approached.

9 News reports:

As he neared his 18th birthday, the complaint says he started making more concrete plans to travel to Afghanistan, including buying a flight to Dubai. He told the undercover agents once in Dubai, he planned to obtain a visa and then continue to Afghanistan. He also began setting up accounts to transfer money to an ISIS member in Syria, according to the complaint.

The arrest

Mashkoor was arrested at the Denver International Airport on Monday, Dec. 18.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports:

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Mashkoor was traveling to the United Arab Emirates, where he intended to stay until he continued on to either Afghanistan or Syria to serve as a fighter for ISIS.

Mashkoor did bring a relative with him, but he reportedly told the relative that they were going to visit family.

9 News reports, "After his arrest, the complaint says, FBI agents found journal entries in his Westminster home that mentioned his support for ISIS and his plans to travel to join the terrorist organization."

Mashkoor made his first appearance in federal court on Tuesday.

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