Federal law enforcement recently arrested the son of Afghan immigrants over allegations that he tried to board a flight to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (ISIS), a terrorist organization.
While waiting for his flight to the Middle East at Denver International Airport (DIA), 18-year-old Humzah Mashkoor, from Colorado, was arrested by federal authorities.
The 18-year-old was reportedly planning to stay in the United Arab Emirates — the destination of his flight — until he reached Afghanistan or Syria to serve as an ISIS fighter, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Mashkoor was charged with attempting to provide ISIS with material support.
— FBI (@FBI) December 20, 2023
Denver7 News reported that authorities began investigating Mashkoor after the 18-year-old reportedly expressed support for ISIS online and began using social media to connect with fellow sympathizers of the terrorist organization.
In 2022, Mashkoor communicated with several Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents who posed as ISIS supporters and expressed his “intent to join ISIS as a fighter, provide money to the organization and recruit other supporters.”
Mashkoor reportedly told the FBI agents that he had been in Afghanistan before his family forcibly left the terrorist-rampant country.
In 2023, the 18-year-old expressed his interest in getting married, obtaining work and completing high school, but said he was concerned about “abandoning” his future wife when serving as an ISIS fighter in Afghanistan if he became “martyred.”
Mashkoor’s family didn’t know why he was leaving the U.S. and why the 18-year-old had only purchased a one-way ticket to the United Arab Emirates.
Mashkoor told undercover FBI agents that his family was sad to see him leave.
“I don’t know how to properly say my final goodbyes to them or how to convey the reasons why I left without compromising myself,” Mashkoor reportedly said.
Mashkoor’s hopes of fighting for ISIS were halted when he was immediately taken into custody after being inspected by security of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at DIA.
Officials searched the 18-year-old’s home and found an ISIS flag as well as a note signaling his intent to join the terrorist group. A journal at the home contained several excerpts showing Mashkoor’s praise for ISIS.
“I fell in love with their (ISIS) steadfastness in the face of such animosity,” one such excerpt read.
“From then I decided I wanted to be like them. Leaving behind the hypocritical life of humiliation to migrate to the lands of jihad,” another excerpt stated.