It is important to remember that even amid the coronavirus pandemic, our nation still faces mortal danger from sworn enemies bent on furthering the aims of known terrorists.
A Pakistani doctor in the U.S. on a work visa has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, the Washington Examiner reported Saturday.
Muhammed Masood, a 28-year-old doctor from Pakistan who previously worked for the prestigious Mayo Clinic, was arrested in March at the Minneapolis–St. Paul airport in Minnesota as he prepared to head for Los Angeles, California, where he had intended to travel aboard a cargo ship to Syria to join the remnants of the Islamic State group.
Unfortunately for Masood, the contacts who helped arrange his travel plans were, unbeknownst to the would-be terrorist, actually paid informants for the FBI, and his scheme to join a known terror group was thwarted.
Plot to join terror group foiled
According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Masood began to make his intentions known in January and February when he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and expressed his desire to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks within the United States.
That gave way to Masood’s plan to travel to the Middle East and provide assistance to other jihadists, and Masood purchased tickets for a flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Amman, Jordan, from where he would sneak into neighboring Syria. That scheme was quashed, though, after Jordan locked down its borders in March due to the coronavirus.
With the trip to Jordan scuttled, according to The New York Post, Masood and his contacts formulated a new plan that would involve him traveling from Minnesota to Los Angeles to hitch a ride to Syria on a cargo ship — but he got no further than the airport in Minneapolis–St. Paul before being arrested, and he has been held in custody ever since after initially being charged via criminal complaint.
Prior to his unsuccessful foray into international terrorism, Masood was the holder of an H1-B work visa and had been employed as a research coordinator at a medical facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
Would-be terrorist worked at Mayo Clinic
Local Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO reported that, while the name of the medical facility that employed Masood was not revealed by authorities, it has since been confirmed that he previously worked for the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
For its part, the clinic claimed that Masood was no longer an employee at the time of his arrest on March 19, and court documents showed that Masood made it clear in February that March 17 — two days prior to his arrest — would be his last day on the job.
This man was invited into the country and granted the opportunity to work at a prestigious medical facility, and during this ongoing public health crisis, our nation needed all of the help it could get.
Sadly, rather than aid those in need, this radical Islamist decided to instead exploit the chaos to further his own jihadist goals. Thankfully, the authorities caught wind of his intentions before he could achieve them, and he will hopefully now be held accountable for his deadly plans.