Prosecutors: Ex-Mayo employee vowed to join ISIS, attack the U.S.

A former Mayo Clinic employee accused of trying to join ISIS made a court appearance in Minneapolis on Tuesday by video link.

Muhammad Masood
Muhammad Masood
Courtesy of Sherburne County Jail

Federal prosecutors say 28-year-old Muhammad Masood quit his job as a medical research coordinator at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., moved out of his apartment and tried to travel to Syria to link up with the terror group ISIS. The FBI arrested him at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday.

Masood is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Masood, who is a citizen of Pakistan, has lived in the United States for two years with a temporary work visa. Mayo Clinic spokesperson Ginger Plumbo said Masood formerly worked at the medical center, but "was not employed by Mayo Clinic at the time of his arrest.”

According to an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, Masood said in February that he was going to notify his employer that his last day of work would be March 17.

Investigators say Masood told two confidential informants that he wanted to conduct lone-wolf attacks in the United States and work as an ISIS medic and drone builder overseas.

Masood appeared by video from the Sherburne County Jail and waived his right to a detention hearing.

All federal criminal cases are on hold until mid-April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but essential proceedings are continuing remotely.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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