July 7 (UPI) — Ohio man Aron Travis Daniels pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to Islamic State as a result of an undercover FBI sting.
“Daniels admitted that he attempted to travel abroad to provide material support to ISIS,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente in a statement. “Identifying, thwarting and holding accountable individuals who attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a top priority of the Department of Justice.”
According to the Department of Justice, Daniels, 20, attempted to make contact with people to join Islamic State beginning in September 2015. He sent e-mails to people not named in the FBI’s criminal complaint “seeking assistance in traveling to Syria to conduct violent jihad and expressed a desire to stop the Russian-Iranian ‘onslaught of our people.'”
In some of these emails, Daniels said he would need financial assistance to travel to Syria “to do jihad.”
After three months of occasional emails to people he believed were jihadists, Daniels sent $250 via Western Union to a person in Libya he believed was an intermediary to an Islamic State recruiter.
After sending the money, an undercover FBI informant posing as an Islamic State recruiter came into contact with Daniels. When the informant asked Daniels what he had done to prove his allegiance to Islamic State, Daniels said he sent $250.
In conversations between Daniels and the informant, Daniels asked for advice on how to join Islamic State and how he could get to certain Islamic State-controlled areas.
On November 5, 2016, Daniels bought a plane ticket from Cleveland to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. According to the informant, Daniels planned to get to Tunisia from the Caribbean country.
Daniels was arrested before he boarded the flight on Nov. 7, 2016, and remains in federal custody.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.