Two Wisconsin men have been arrested in San Angelo, Texas, on charges of providing material support to ISIS. The men were traveling to Mexico and allegedly had plans to travel on to Iraq or Syria.
Jason Michael Ludke, 35, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, an illegal alien who has been living in Wisconsin, were arrested on October 5 by Tom Green County Sheriff David Jones and a team of federal agents, according to Joe Hyde, president of San Angelo Live.
Sheriff Jones told Hyde he had received a warning from the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) that the two suspected ISIS recruits could be heading through his county in route to Mexico. After surveilling the two men for a short time, deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, and FBI agents conducted a traffic stop and the two men were taken into custody.
Sheriff Green stated Ludke was detained on an outstanding warrant from Wisconsin. His traveling companion, Padilla-Conde, having been identified asn an illegal alien, was held on immigration charges.
Information provided by the Department of Justice’s Eastern District of Wisconsin stated the two men were traveling to Mexico after having pledged their allegiance to ISIS. Their ultimate goal was to travel to Iraq or Syria and join up with the terrorist organization.
Ludke’s activities were discovered by the FBI when he contacted an undercover agent on Facebook. He sent the agent a friend request. The agent was assigned to monitor social media and search for ISIS recruiting activities. Shortly after the initial contact, the agent began instant messaging conversations with the suspect and learned of his plans. He told the agent he “wants to make “hijra” (or migration) away from “darul kufr” (Land of the Infidel)” Hyde reported.
Ludke, going by the Muslim names Muhammad Nassir, Muhammad Abdun Naasir Al-Hannafi, and Abuz Sayyaf, told an undercover agent he had “pledged his allegiance to the leader of ISIL (ISIS) (the purported “Caliph”), Al-Baghdadi,” according to the criminal complaint obtained by San Angelo Live. He reportedly pledged his love of Muslims and hatred towards infidels “for Allah’s sake.”
He later sent the undercover FBI agent a video of himself pledging allegiance to the ISIS leader, Al-Baghdadi.
Thinking the agent was an ISIS recruiter in the Middle East, Ludke told him he was making plans to come “there.” He admitted to having a criminal history and said he would have to travel via Mexico where he would be able to purchase travel documents.
According to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Ludke was convicted in 2010 on charges of threatening to kill a federal judge. He sent a series of threatening letters to the court of Federal District Court Judge William Griesbach in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The fourth letter, for which he pleaded guilty, states:
Allow me to willfully leave to Istanbul, Turkey or 1will have no choice but to hunt you down and kill you and your staff! If you do not have me immediately transferred out of this facility or released, I will be contacting my brothers of the islamic al-shabab and there will be blood on your hands and your kuffar government due to random acts of violence in response to your unresponsiveness.
Imagine federal courthouses filled with infidel americans being victim to liquefied forms of Semtex bonded to a paper much with nitrous pellets from fertilizer surrounded by C-4 with ball bearings for added destruction! ….this is not an idle threat U.S. Judge Griesbachl” “If you do not pay heed to my call and bargain, bear witness that I will do everything in my power to kill you Judge Griesbach and your kuffar regime!
Ludke was introduced to Padilla-Conde by the FBI. At that time Padilla-Conde was going by the name AbuZaid Haddaf.
The duo remained in contact with the undercover agent as they traveled from Wisconsin to Texas. They continued to discuss their plans to travel and join up with ISIS.
Padilla-Conde had previously told the undercover agent he was having difficulties earning a living by working cash jobs and that they were about to be evicted from their apartment. He told the agent he asked for, and received, permission to camp out in the parking lots of area mosques as they were traveling south, Hyde reported.
He later admitted he was not really interested in joining ISIS and was using Ludke to make his way back to Mexico. He told officials he planned to dump Ludke once they crossed the border into Mexico.
The duo was headed to El Paso when they were arrested in San Angelo. Padilla-Conde’s brother-in-law had advised him that would be an easy place to cross back into Mexico.
Sheriff Jones told San Angelo Live the arrest was all in a day’s work. He expressed his gratitude to the FBI and the JTTF for their coordination with his agency. He said he was happy they were stopped before becoming a threat to the U.S. and American citizens.
“Terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority in keeping Americans safe,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The arrest of these two individuals from Wisconsin, underscores how the real threat of terrorism can occur anywhere, at anytime. I would like to commend the efforts of the JTTF which includes a wide range of our law enforcement partners who work tirelessly for the safety of our citizens. We encourage all citizens to remain vigilant in reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin said the pair was being charged for providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If they are convicted, each face up to 20 years in prison and could be fined up to $250,000.