OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:20 PM – Thursday, December 21, 2023
A man was charged on Monday with attempting to help terrorists after he allegedly planned to travel to the Middle East in order to become a soldier for the Islamic State terrorist group ISIS.
The defendant, Humzah Mashkoor, 18, of Westminster, Colorado, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado with knowingly providing or attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
An FBI agent’s narrative included in the criminal complaint alleged that Mashkoor, who born in the United States but was raised in part in his family’s native country Afghanistan, desperately wanted to return to fight for the Islamic State group.
As part of an alleged plot to return to Afghanistan and meet with ISIS “brothers,” he was detained by FBI agents on Monday at the Denver International Airport while attempting to board a flight to the United Arab Emirates, according to the complaint.
The court document went on to say that Mashkoor was brought to the bureau’s attention in 2021 when a social media platform notified the agency of a post made by the accused that showed sympathy for the terrorist organization.
A relative of his informed authorities that Mashkoor had assaulted him in July 2022 and also said that the 18-year-old “wanted to kill people and cut their heads off,” as per the court record.
Police were also informed by a different relative that Mashkoor “struggled from mental illness and had high-functioning autism.”
According to the complaint, he then began corresponding online in September 2022 with an FBI agent who was impersonating an ISIS supporter.
The complaint goes on to say that the agent and others acting as ISIS sympathizers spoke with the Mashkoor between then and all the way until Monday this week, recording his purported goals.
Another time, Mashkoor allegedly corresponded with two actual ISIS followers who the FBI says were connected to real-life terrorists, one of whom had been found guilty of engaging in terrorism-related activities abroad.
According to the charging documents, he considered remaining in the country to assist ISIS in carrying out a future domestic attack. Mashkoor stated that the suggestion “was something I considered as a last effort,” and that particular message came from an online conversation thread with the phony ISIS members.
Mashkoor also allegedly entertained the notion that he could be utilized as a suicide bomber as soon as he met up with the extremist Islamic soldiers after his flight to the Middle East.
Additionally, prosecutors said that although he had no connections in Syria, he considered traveling there rather than Afghanistan. He had also communicated that he wished to find a wife during his travels.
According to the complaint, the defendant considered transferring money to ISIS using cryptocurrency methods, but he struggled to figure out a way to do so covertly. After turning eighteen, Mashkoor sought a relative’s assistance in getting their name taken off his bank account so he could proceed with the bitcoin scheme without them knowing.
“She cried a little after I changed the stuff, and then she said, ‘You are not allowed to send money to any bad people,’” said Mashkoor to the undercover agent.
The defendant also went on to express, “I can’t stand another day of humiliation living in dar ul kuf,” and the term “dar ul kuf” refers to any region of the world where the majority of its population is not Muslim.
Mashkoor was taken into custody by FBI officers at Denver International Airport on Monday, shortly after 9:30 a.m. The lawsuit states that they later searched his Westminster, Colorado, residence and discovered numerous journal entries.
Westminster is located roughly 20 miles north of Denver.
Mashkoor appeared in federal court on Friday. His legal representation was not immediately apparent, and a request for comment from the federal public defender in Colorado was not immediately answered.
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