Place of Birth: Ohio, United States;
Damon Joseph (aka Abdullah Ali Yusuf) pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, and attempting to commit a hate crime, for planning an attack on a synagogue in the Toledo, Ohio area.
He planned to target innocents at a Toledo-area synagogue based on their religion and hoping that it would lead to the deaths of many and spread fear.
In a matter of months, Damon Joseph progressed from a self-radicalized, virtual jihadist to planning an actual attack on fellow Americans.
In 2018, Joseph drew the attention of law enforcement by posting photographs of weapons and various messages in support of Islamic State on his social media accounts, as well as a photograph originally distributed by the media wing of the Islamic State.
Beginning in September 2018, Joseph engaged in a series of online conversations with several undercover FBI agents where he repeatedly stated and affirmed his support for Islamic State and produced propaganda he believed was to be used for Islamic State recruitment efforts.
Joseph stated to an undercover agent that he wanted to participate in an attack on behalf of the Islamic State.
On Dec. 2, 2018, Joseph forwarded a document to the agent that laid out his plans for such an attack on “Jews who support state of Israel.”
Joseph then stated that he did not necessarily see this as “a martyrdom operation” as his plan
accounted for an escape and potential combat with law enforcement.
On Dec. 4, Joseph met with an undercover FBI agent and discussed conducting a mass shooting at a synagogue. Joseph identified two synagogues in the greater Toledo as potential targets and discussed the types of weapons he believed would inflict mass casualties.
Joseph made written notes about the firearms he wanted and provided them to the undercover agent, stating he wanted AR 15s, AK 47, Glock handguns, and ammunition.
On Dec. 6, Joseph again met with an undercover agent to discuss his plans. Joseph stated specifically that he wanted to kill a rabbi and wrote the name and address of the synagogue where the attack was to occur and stated that he had conducted research to determine when the Jewish sabbath was so that more people would be present.
Later that day, the undercover agent told Joseph that he had purchased rifles for the attack. The two met on Dec. 7 at a predetermined location, where Joseph took possession of a black duffel bag containing two semi-automatic rifles, which had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement officers so that they posed no danger to the public. Joseph was then arrested.
Joseph is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 11 a.m. and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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