BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A woman from Hoover, Alabama and her husband have both pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material in support of ISIS.
On Monday, Arwa Muthana, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Her husband, 21-year-old James Bradley of New York, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Friday.
According to court documents, Bradley and Muthana are ISIS supporters who attempted to travel to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS. The DOJ reports that the couple were first married in January 2021 and had allegedly “discussed, planned and ultimately attempted to travel to the Middle East together to join and fight with ISIS.”
As early as 2019, Bradley had allegedly expressed a desire to conduct a terrorist attack in the US, potentially attacking the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In March 2021, Muthana and Bradley travelled from Alabama to New York to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS. The DOJ reports that the couple had plans to travel on a cargo ship to Asia or Africa to join the terrorist group.
On March 31, 2021, Muthana and Bradley were arrested while boarding the ship.
“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,” the DOJ stated in a press release. “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.”
The DOJ reported that in the months leading up to their arrests, the couple had posted extremist content online, including pictures of ISIS fighters, Osama Bin Laden and terrorist attacks. Muthana’s cellphone reportedly had images of an ISIS flag, firearms and other propaganda from the organization.
Muthana’s sister, Hoda, has spent the last couple of years seeking to return to the U.S. after denouncing her allegiance to ISIS. She had previously left home in 2014 to join the group, and later had a child in the Middle East. The government has rejected her passport, as well as denied her birthright citizenship saying her father was a Yemen diplomat.
Bradley and Muthana are facing up to 20 years in prison. They are scheduled to be sentenced next February.