While the threat of ISIS has largely been removed, America is still working on figuring out how to deal with citizens who crossed the planet to aid the terrorist organization.
A married couple who were arrested in New Jersey boarding a cargo ship that they believed was taking them to fight for the Islamic State have pleaded guilty to trying to provide material support to the terrorist group, federal authorities said.
James Bradley, 21, and Arwa Muthana, 30, entered the pleas Friday and Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York’s Southern District said in a news release.
Bradley, of the Bronx, and Muthana, of Hoover, Alabama, were arrested in New Jersey on March 31, 2021, after they paid an undercover New York City police officer $1,000 for what they believed would be passage to Yemen, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
The couple were arrested after they crossed the gangplank in Newark, New Jersey, according to the complaint.
After she was taken into custody, Muthana told investigators that she was “willing to fight and kill Americans,” the document says.
In a voluntary interview with the FBI in 2019, Bradley told an FBI agent that he didn’t support the Islamic State because the group killed innocent Muslims, according to the complaint.
In May 2020, Bradley allegedly told an undercover officer he thought ISIS was good for Muslims because it is attempting to establish a caliphate and also said he might do “something” at a U.S. military training academy if he wasn’t able to get out of the U.S.
In January 2021, he allegedly told the same undercover officer, in his cause for jihad, he was considering using his truck to take “out” Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets he saw at a university in New York with the help of his wife. He previously expressed interest in attacking a military base.
After the couple met up in New York in early March, Bradley allegedly contacted the undercover officer for help getting on a cargo ship to Asia or Africa with the intent of traveling to the Middle East
The officer put them in contact with someone who could help who was actually another undercover officer.
Muthana is the sister of Hoda Muthana, who left the U.S. in 2014 to become an ISIS bride, according to AL.com. She reportedly said in 2019 that she “regrets” joining ISIS after surrendering to coalition forces, but a U.S. judge ruled that year she wouldn’t be allowed back in the U.S. because she’s not a citizen.
The next year, Bradley told an undercover officer that be believed the Islamic State “may be good for Muslims” because the group was establishing a caliphate.