A federal grand jury led by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald in Minneapolis, Minnesota, returned a single-count indictment against Muhammad Masood, 28, a licensed medical practitioner in Pakistan, charging him with an attempt to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, ISIS.

h1-b visa
The H-1B visa is one of the most popular ones for foreigners visiting the US for business or trade purpose.Reuters

The indictment and court proceedings

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, Masood, a licensed medical practitioner in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a Research Coordinator at a medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, under an H-1B Visa program.

Between January 2020 and March 2020, Masood made several statements to others, including pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and its leader and expressing his desire to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.

Masood also expressed his desire to conduct "lone wolf" terrorist attacks in the United States. On Feb. 21, 2020, Masood purchased a plane ticket from Chicago, Illinois to Amman, Jordan, and from there planned to travel to Syria.

[Representational Image]Reuters

On March 16, 2020, Masood's travel plans changed because Jordan closed its borders to incoming travel due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Masood made a new plan to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet up with an individual who he believed would assist him with travel via cargo ship to deliver him to ISIS territory.

On March 19, 2020, Masood travelled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to board a flight bound for Los Angeles, California. However, upon arrival at MSP, Masood checked in for his flight and was subsequently arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. Masood was charged in a criminal complaint on March 19, 2020, and is currently in custody pending further court proceedings.

Plan of action by Federal grand jury

The case is currently under investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and Timothy C. Rank, with assistance from Trial Attorney Katie Sweeten of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.

The charges in this complaint against Masood are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.