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A Rochester man who formerly worked at the Mayo Clinic has pleaded guilty to attempting to provide support for ISIS after he expressed allegiance for the terrorist organization and tried to fly to Syria to fight for them.

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

Masood, a licensed doctor from Pakistan, was working as a research coordinator at the Mayo under a H-1B visa.

Between January and March of 2020, Masood made comments to others expressing his support for ISIS and his desire to travel to Syria to fight for the organization, according to court documents.

Masood also expressed the desire to commit a “lone wolf” terrorist attack in the U.S. 

He met in Bloomington someone he believed would help him connect with ISIS, but who it later emerged was a confidential informant 

In February of 2020, Masood bought a plane ticket from Chicago to Jordan, where he would then travel to Syria. But Jordan restricted travel amid the start of COVID-19 pandemic before Masood could go there.

Instead, Masood changed his plans and bought a ticket from the Twin Cities to Los Angeles. There, he would meet a person he believed could help him travel to Syria by cargo ship.

On March 19 of 2020, Masood traveled from Rochester to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. But upon arrival, he was arrested FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

Masood will be sentenced at a later date.

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