Colorado teenager charged with attempting to join ISIS

ByLuke Barr ABCNews logo
Wednesday, December 20, 2023

A Colorado teenager has been charged with providing material support to ISIS, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Acting on a tip from a social media company, the FBI encountered Humzah Mashkoor when he was 16 years old, and just under a year later, they arrested him for allegedly attempting to board a flight in Denver to join ISIS, the Justice Department said in its criminal complaint.

Undercover FBI agents soon began communicating with Mashkoor, who used the social media name "Humzah Afghan," the complaint said.

"Mashkoor frequently expressed support for ISIS," the complaint reads. In one instance, he shared videos online of people getting executed, the department claimed in the court filing.

He allegedly told the undercover officer he was born in the United States, went to Afghanistan and then came back to the U.S. after his family had to leave.

"He indicated a desire to return to Afghanistan, where he has family in Nangarhar and other areas under Taliban control. Mashkoor stated that he previously supported the Taliban but started 'looking more into' 'the dawlah' after they 'b0mbed the airport and took those Taliban and us soldiers and sent them to jahanam,'" the complaint says.

Authorities said they took his statements to mean he supported ISIS after the bombing of Kabul Airport in 2021.

"Are you ready?" he allegedly wrote to an undercover FBI agent regarding his planned return to Afghanistan. "Once we go there's no turning back... We leave behind everything... Our family's... Our homes... Our friends... For the sake of Allah. ... Life won't be easy, we will be strangers moving from place to place... Hated by the whole worlds."

In the fall of 2022, Mashkoor also allegedly told undercover officers he would do anything ISIS told him to do.

"I am prepared to do anything which they require me to do . . . I just want to be used as soon as possible, gun attcks ... I have no training, I used to have some practice with guns with I was younger. But that is it," Mashkoor allegedly said.

Also, according to the complaint, in October 2022, he allegedly took the oath to join ISIS.

The Justice Department alleges that throughout 2023, and leading up to his 18th birthday, Mashkoor made statements about traveling to join ISIS. He allegedly discussed marrying someone who shared the same beliefs.

He planned to donate "all of his money" to ISIS in cryptocurrency before he turned 18.

He was scheduled to travel on Dec. 11, but instead, he postponed his travel to Dec. 18, which is when he was arrested.

ABC News could not immediately locate a legal representative for Mashkoor, and no lawyer was listed in the court record.

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