Feedback
News
ISIS Terror

American ISIS Defector’s Case Unsealed After NBC Interview

American ISIS Informant on Urge to Join Terrorist Group: 'It's Like a Bloodthirst' 2:14

A federal judge has unsealed the case of an American ISIS defector after he told his story and revealed his face to NBC News.

The 27-year-old former Columbia University student spoke exclusively with NBC last week — with the permission of prosecutors — about why he signed up with the terror group, the violence he saw, and his desperate escape.

Former American-Born ISIS Shares Regrets About Joining 1:02

After the "On Assignment" interview aired, prosecutors said there was no justification to keep the New York City man's case sealed, although his name is still being kept secret to protect ongoing investigations and the safety of his family.

The redacted criminal complaint made public on Tuesday details how the man, who is in federal custody and cooperating with authorities, left the United States in June 2014 after getting a visit from FBI agents investigating whether he was sympathetic to ISIS.

The FBI's next contact with the man, identified as Mo in the interview, came in October 2014, when he sent an email saying he was ready to come home and had made arrangements for civilian smugglers to get him to the border.

Image: American ISIS informant - NBC News Exclusive
A New York City man tells how he was seduced by promises of a utopian Islamic State only to find brutality and chaos when he got to Syria. Nightly News

"My problem is that I need a pickup from trusted sources because I'm without a passport. It was taken and they won't give it back," he wrote.

"Please help," he added. "I just want to get back home. All I want is this extraction, complete exoneration thereafter and have everything back to normal with me and my family…Please help me get back home.

"I'm fed up with this evil."

The complaint says that before the FBI could respond, Mo made his way to a U.S. consulate in Turkey and turned himself in.

FBI officials have told NBC News that Mo pleaded guilty to two terrorism charges that carry between 10 and 25 years in prison — though he could get less because of his ongoing cooperation.

"I've let my family down. I've let my nation down and I've let God down and I have a lot to make up for," Mo told NBC News.