Rochester Man Sentenced For Terrorism-Related Conviction
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man and former Mayo Clinic employee has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his conviction on a terrorism-related charge.
A news release issued by the US Attorney's Office for Minnesota says 31-year-old Mohammad Masood entered a guilty plea to a federal charge of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in April. He was sentenced Friday by US District Judge Paul Magnuson. In addition to the prison sentence, he will also be required to spend five years on supervised release.
According to court documents, Masood was a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan and was hired by Mayo Clinic to work as a Research Coordinator under an H-1B Visa. Starting in January 2020, he was accused of using an encrypted messaging app to seek out membership in the ISIS terrorist organization. The charges against him also alleged he expressed a desire to conduct so-called "lone wolf" terrorist attacks in the United States.
In February 2020, investigators learned that Masood purchased a plane ticket to fly from Chicago to Amman Jordan with plans to continue his travels to Syria to allegedly join ISIS. Federal Court records indicate those plans were thwarted when Jordan closed its borders in advance of the COVID pandemic.
Federal prosecutors say Masood then made plans to travel from Minnesota to Los Angeles for a meeting with a person who he believed would help arrange for him to ride on a cargo ship to territory controlled by ISIS. He was arrested on March 19, 2020, when he arrived at the Twin Cities airport and checked them for his flight to Los Angeles.
The news release says his conviction and sentence were the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.