A New York couple confessed to trying to join ISIS. Officials allege they also wanted to "take out" cadets at West Point.

James Bradley, 21 of New York City and his wife, Arwa Muthana, 30, from Alabama, confessed to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”).

New York Couple Tried To Join ISIS

Kurdish Forces Hold Frontline Positions Against ISIS In Northern Iraq
John Moore

Both pleaded guilty in Southern District of New York Court to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

“Husband and wife James Bradley and Arwa Muthana admitted today to their support of ISIS, a violent extremist terrorist organization. In planning their support, Bradley and Muthana collected and distributed jihadist propaganda, including videos of Usama Bin Laden, and even chillingly expressed their desire to ‘take out’ American military cadets," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

According to the Complaint, Indictment, and other public documents in the case, as well as statements made during court proceedings:

  • Bradley and Muthana are ISIS supporters who attempted to travel to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS
  • Bradley expressed a desire to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States
Afghan Troops Battle ISIS in Nangarhar
Getty Images

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New York Couple Arrested After Undercover Investigation

In Jan. 2021, Bradley spoke with an undercover officer about traveling in a cargo ship with his wife to the Middle East so both could join ISIS. Bradley was unaware he was speaking with an undercover officer.

The undercover officer put him in contact with another person to help Bradley finalize his travel arrangements. That person was also an undercover officer.

In March 2021, Bradley met with the second undercover officer and expressed his desire to travel via cargo ship and to “fight among the rank[s] of the Islamic State,” officials say. He paid the undercover officer $1,000 in cash for the travel arrangements.

Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images


Later that month, both were arrested in Newark, New Jersey as they walked on a gangplank to board the cargo ship. Officials say Muthana waived her Miranda rights and stated during an interview that she was willing to fight and kill Americans if it was for Allah.

Potential Attack At United States Military Academy in West Point, New York

He told the first undercover officer that if he could not leave the United States, he would do “something” in the United States instead, referring to carrying out an attack, officials say.

ThinkStock/Nancy Kennedy
ThinkStock/Nancy Kennedy

Bradley also discussed potentially attacking the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, officials say.

Bradley later told the officer he and his wife could use his truck to take "out" all of the cadets, according to court documents.

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