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Arwa Muthana pleaded guilty Sept. 12, 2022, to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Her husband James Bradley entered a guilty plea Sept. 9 to the same charge. Bradley told an undercover agent in 2020 that he wanted to conduct a terrorist attack in America and discussed potentially attacking the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Arwa Muthana pleaded guilty Sept. 12, 2022, to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Her husband James Bradley entered a guilty plea Sept. 9 to the same charge. Bradley told an undercover agent in 2020 that he wanted to conduct a terrorist attack in America and discussed potentially attacking the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (United States Military Academy at West Point)

An American couple pleaded guilty to federal felony charges stemming from their attempts to travel overseas to fight for terrorist groups in the Middle East, the Justice Department said.

Arwa Muthana, 30, of Hoover, Ala., pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Her husband, James Bradley, 21, of the Bronx, N.Y., entered a guilty plea Friday to the same charge, law enforcement officials said in a statement Monday.

Each of them faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The two were arrested after paying undercover law enforcement $1,000 to board a cargo ship in Newark, N.J., the Justice Department said in a statement.

Bradley told undercover agents over the past three years that he supported ISIS and wanted to travel to the Middle East to fight for the group, the statement said.

He told an undercover agent in 2020 that he wanted to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States and discussed the possibility of targeting the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

In 2021, Bradley told the same undercover officer he frequently saw Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets training at a university near him. Bradley said he and his wife could use a truck to take out all of the ROTC cadets, law enforcement officials said.

Bradley asked the undercover agent for help getting on a cargo ship to travel to Asia or Africa to join ISIS, the Justice Department said.

The agent connected Bradley to another undercover law enforcement officer, who asked for $1,000 from Bradley in exchange for travel on a cargo ship to Yemen.

Bradley and Muthana were arrested in March 2021 as they walked on a gangplank to board the cargo ship, the Justice Department said.

Muthana told an undercover officer that she was traveling to the Middle East to fight for ISIS. After she was arrested, she said during an interview that she was willing to kill Americans, law enforcement officials said.

Searches of the couple’s bedroom and phones found images related to ISIS propaganda, flags for the group and maps, the statement said.

Their sentencing is scheduled for February 2023.

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J.P. Lawrence reports on the U.S. military in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2017. He graduated from Columbia Journalism School and Bard College and is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines.

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