US charges Pakistani doctor with trying to help IS

New York: A Pakistani doctor was arrested while attempting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group, US Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Muhammad Masood (28) was charged with attempting to provide support to a terrorist organisation, Demers, who is in charge of national security, said on Thursday.

Masood was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at the Minneapolis airport when he was trying to fly to Los Angeles, where a contact would put him on a cargo ship to take him to IS territory, the Justice Department said.

He had originally planned to go Syria through Jordan and bought a ticket to Amman, but before he could leave the Middle Eastern country closed its borders because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department said.

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Masood, who had worked as a research coordinator at a clinic in Minnesota, had told some people between January and March about his allegiance to the IS and his desire to join the group, the Department said.

He also told them that he wanted to carry out solitary – “lone wolf” – attacks in the US, it added.

Masood was produced in a Minneapolis federal court before Magistrate Judge David Schultz, who remanded him to custody till March 24.

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