An investigative report by The Intercept has revealed the FBI assisted an autistic teenager in planning a trip to join ISIS as part of an entrapment operation.
In the report, investigative journalist Murtaza Hussain revealed that 18-year-old Huzmand Mashkoor was charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization after four FBI agents groomed him to join the Islamic State through online exchanges.
FBI agents posing as members of ISIS started exchanging messages with Mashkoor when he was 16 years old, and the messages continued until the time of his arrest when he was 18.
The agents, throughout the two years, groomed Mashkoor, who has developmental disabilities and were eventually able to persuade him to fly to Dubai to join ISIS sects in either Afghanistan or Syria.
In response to the FBI’s entrapment scheme, Mashkoor’s defense attorney Joshua Herman shared, “It is appalling that the government never once reached out to his parents, even while they were sending undercover agents to befriend him online starting when he was 16 years old.
Herman continued, “Almost all of the conduct he is alleged to have committed took place when he was a juvenile.”
“UNDERCOVER FBI AGENTS HELPED AUTISTIC TEEN PLAN TRIP TO JOIN ISIS”
Four FBI agents posing as ISIS members began chatting online with Humzah Mashkoor when he was 16 years old. He was arrested on terrorism charges weeks after his 18th birthday.
— Screwpulas (@Screwpulas) January 11, 2024
Per The Intercept:
Humzah Mashkoor had just cleared security at Denver International Airport when the FBI showed up. The agents had come to arrest the 18-year-old, who is diagnosed with a developmental disability, and charge him with terror-related crimes. At the time of the arrest, a relative later said in court, Mashkoor was reading “Diary of a Wimpy KidOpens in a new tab,” a book written for elementary school children.
Mashkoor had gone to the airport on December 18 to fly to Dubai, and from there to either Syria or Afghanistan, as part of his alleged plot to join the Islamic State. The trip had been spurred by over a year of online exchanges starting when Mashkoor was 16 years old with four people he believed were members of ISIS. According to the Justice Department’s criminal complaintOpens in a new tab, the four were actually undercover FBI agents. As a result of his conversations with the FBI, Mashkoor could face a lengthy sentence for attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
At an initial court hearing, family members said that Mashkoor, who had turned 18 just a few weeks prior to the arrest, had intellectual difficulties and been diagnosed with autism. Despite acknowledging Mashkoor’s family support and his young age, the judge ordered that he be detained while awaiting trial.
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