The FBI is currently hunting for a Flint Medical School graduate who has fled to Syria to reportedly work as a doctor for ISIS Jihadists. The manhunt was made public in a sealed search warrant that was posted on the federal court online case database for a short period of time before being removed. Federal agents fear he may have been recruiting locals to join ISIS.
The FBI believes the med student, Mohamed Maleeh Masha, is actively trying to recruit Americans in Michigan to join ISIS. The investigation was prompted by Masha’s disappearance in early 2015. Agents are trying to determine whether Masha iss providing money, personnel or material support to terrorist organizations.
FBI agents believe Masha is one of many medical school students that entered Syria by way of Turkey to meet with ISIS members. Masha, along with 10 other medical students from University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan were allegedly working in hospitals in the area. People with medical skills are highly coveted by terrorist groups for their ability to treat wounded Jihadists on the battlefield. The FBI believes Masha was targeted for this reason.
Masha comes from traditional American upbringing. He grew up in Flushing, MI and attended high school in Denver, CO and attended classes at Flint Medical School before graduating from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan, in 2014. Authorities claim that cases of Americans being recruited by ISIS are extremely rare but are still interested in investigating the case.
88 people in the U.S. have been charged with ISIS related crimes since 2014 and more than 250 Americans have succeeded in joining ISIS is Syria or Iraq. Authorities claim that most of these people are male around the age of 26, the 24-year-old Masha fits the profile.
His social media profiles set off a series of red flags. His posts regularly mention Jihad and his profile picture features a picture of a golden sword and the words “Islam is the Religion of the Sword Not Pacifism.” He also posted quotes from Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S. born cleric that met with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber” that attempted to blow up a Detroit bound plane in 2009.
The FBI hopes to capture Masha to determine how he became involved with ISIS and what caused his radicalization. They feel that this information can be used to prevent other U.S. born citizens from joining ISIS in the future. Unfortunately, authorities have little faith he will be found alive. Experts told Detroitnews.com:
“The odds of the United States capturing him are pretty low,” Tama said. “In Syria, it’s not really about law enforcement. It’s a military campaign. There’s a significant chance he’ll end up getting killed.”
If agents can locate sufficient evidence to prove Masha was involved in terrorist activities he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.