Bronx man and wife plead guilty to attempting to join ISIS; couple arrested while boarding cargo ship to Yemen

·2 min read

A Bronx man and his wife from Alabama pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to join the ISIS terrorist organization more than a year after the feds arrested them on gangplank for a cargo ship to Yemen.

James Bradley, 21, and his wife, Arwa Muthana, 30, each pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The feds say Bradley’s conversations with an undercover law enforcement officer led to the convictions. According to prosecutors, he first expressed a desire to carry out a terror attack in the U.S. during a May 2020 conversation, naming the West Point military academy as a potential target.

Eight months later, in a January 2021 conversation with the same undercover officer, Bradley floated carrying out a truck attack with his wife at an unnamed university where he often saw Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets training, according to court records.

In March 2021, Bradley paid a second undercover law enforcement agent $1,000 for help to “fight among the rank[s]” of the militant extremist group. The agent told Bradley he would provide assistance for him and his wife to travel on a cargo ship to Yemen from a seaport in Newark, N.J.

Agents arrested the young couple boarding the ship on March 31, 2021, with Muthana waiving her rights while in custody and stating she was “willing to fight and kill Americans,” according to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

“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 Osama Bin Laden” — said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, referring to the notorious mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — “and even chillingly expressed their desire to ‘take out’ American military cadets.

“Just one day after the anniversary of 9/11, today’s prosecution of Bradley and Muthana exemplifies that the resolve of this office and our law enforcement partners will never waiver, and we will never forget.”

Bradley and Muthana, of Hoover, Ala., are scheduled to be sentenced in February. Their lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.