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American Husband and Wife Plead Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS, Commit Terrorist Attack in US

An American married couple has pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

Arwa Muthana, 30, of Hoover Alabama, and her husband James Bradley, aka Abdullah, 21, of the Bronx, have both pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Muthana’s sister Hoda left her family to join ISIS in 2014.

In 2019, the sister told NBC News in an interview that she “regrets every single thing” that she had done. Later that year, a federal judge ruled Hoda is not a U.S. citizen and could not return to America.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Bradley expressed violent extremist views since at least 2019, including his desire to support ISIS by traveling overseas to join the group or committing a terrorist attack on their behalf in the United States. Both he and Muthana had regularly posted extremist content online.

While speaking to an undercover law enforcement officer in May 2020, Bradley said that he believed ISIS is “good” for Muslims because it was establishing a caliphate. He also discussed potentially attacking the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Bradley said that if he could not travel to the Middle East to join the terrorist organization, he would do “something” in the United States instead — meaning a terrorist attack, according to the DOJ.

The following month, Bradley shared his desire to attack a military base as his contribution to the “cause of jihad” with the officer.

“In January 2021, Bradley mentioned to UC-1 another university in New York State where he frequently saw Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets training. Bradley stated that he could use his truck in an attack, and that he along with Muthana could take all of the ROTC cadets ‘out,'” the DOJ’s statement said.

In January 2021, the couple was married in an Islamic ceremony. The DOJ alleges that before and after the marriage, the couple planned to try and travel to the Middle East to join and fight alongside ISIS.

Two months later, Bradley asked the undercover officer to help him and his bride make arrangements to travel to the Middle East. The officer put him in touch with another undercover who claimed to be able to help them travel by cargo ship.

Soon, Bradley would provide the officer with $1,000 in cash as travel costs for him and Muthana to take a cargo ship to Yemen.

On March 31, 2021, the couple met the officer at a seaport in Newark, New Jersey so that they could board the ship to go fight — which Muthana once again confirmed to the undercover officer.

“Bradley and Muthana were arrested as they walked on a gangplank to board the cargo ship,” the DOJ’s statement said. “After Muthana was arrested, she waived her Miranda rights and stated during an interview that she was willing to fight and kill Americans if it was for Allah. Also on March 31, 2021, in connection with a court-authorized search, the FBI seized from a bedroom previously used by Bradley what appears to be a hand-drawn image of a jihadi flag commonly used by ISIS and a hand-drawn map of the Pakistan region.”

Bradley is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 2, 2023, and Muthana is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 3, 2023.

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