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WI man pleads guilty to trying to join ISIS

A gavel sits on display in a military courtroom Jan. 29, 2014, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Courts-martial are held at the 436th Airlift Wing Legal Office and are open for Airmen and the public to view. (Airman 1st Class William Johnson/U.S. Air Force)
November 01, 2018
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Last week, a Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to ISIS.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Special Agent-in-Charge R. Justin Tolomeo of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division made the announcement on Oct. 30, according to the Justice Department.

Jason Michael Ludke, 37 of Milwaukee, had already been convicted in 2002 for second-degree sexual assault of a child and sentenced to four years in prison.

In 2009, Ludke told a federal judge if he refused to give up his post of kufr rule and be under Islamic treaty, he would kill him. He faced 32 months in prison for that crime.

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Ludke was on probation when he was arrested on Oct. 5 and had removed his ankle tether before fleeing Wisconsin, Fox 11 News reported.

Ludke, along with his accomplice, Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, were in route to Mexico near the border in Texas, but before the pair could get to their destination, they were arrested by police near San Angelo, Texas.

On video, Ludke pledged his loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In his plea agreement, Ludke admitted that he was making travel plans to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.

He conversed with an FBI undercover agent and told him that he was trained in jujitsu and computers, which would be beneficial for joining ISIS, the Washington Examiner reported.

He was also under the assumption that the undercover agent was going to assist him in getting to his destination.

“This conviction demonstrates the United States’ resolute commitment to protecting our country and combating foreign terrorism. Individuals like Ludke who seek to provide material support to ISIS will be held accountable,” United States Attorney Krueger said.

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Special Agent-in-Charge Justin Tolomeo said, “The FBI’s number one priority is protecting Americans from terrorism. I commend our Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which includes our local, state and federal partners, for their investigative efforts in identifying and arresting Jason Ludke that prevented him from joining the ISIS terror group.”

Ludke now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a maximum term of supervised release of life, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the JTTF and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Kanter and Benjamin Taibleson and Trial Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman of the Department’s Counterterrorism Section.

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