Texas Man Attempting to Join ISIS Sentenced to Federal Prison

AP Photo/Militant Website
Associated Press

A federal district judge sentenced a 24-year-old man from Austin, Texas, to 82 months in federal prison for attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. Michael Todd Wolfe (aka “Faruq”) will be under supervised release for five years after he gets out of prison for planning to join ISIS and fight in battle with them.

The sentence was issued on Friday morning in Austin by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks.

According to the Criminal Complaint (attached at the bottom of this article), Wolfe was charged with “attempt[ing] to provide material support and resources to terrorists, including but not limited to personnel, including himself, knowing or intending that they be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a crime of terrorism, including conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure persons and damage property in a foreign country.”


Michael Todd Wolfe. Photo Courtesy Williamson County Jail


“Material support” under federal law is defined as any property, service, currency or securities or financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (which may include oneself) and transportation. There is an exception for providing medicine or religious materials.

An undercover FBI employee met with Wolfe’s wife, Jordan Nicole Furr, (aka Jordan Wolfe) and she revealed that she wanted to perform hijrah, and as part of that hijrah, she wanted to support her husband’s goal of traveling to perform a violent form of jihad. Hijrah was defined in the criminal complaint as religious migration to Muslim lands in order to seek freedom or sanctuary.

Wolfe’s wife told the FBI undercover agent that as soon as they had the money, they intended to go. She told him that her husband “yearns to like go be with his brothers … protect them and fight with them and everything.” She continued, “He just wants to hop into Syria. He’s just ready to die for his deen [religion]. He’s ready to die for someone; for something.”

Wolfe later told another undercover FBI agent that he believed that violent jihad overseas was permissible.

Wolfe met with the undercover agent numerous times between October 2013 and late January 2014 to discuss his plans. He met with a second undercover agent in January and told him that he and his wife and children had their passport photos taken earlier that day. He said he had learned that al Qaeda in Syria was training brothers from other countries and then sending those fighters back from Syria to their home countries to conduct terror attacks.

He met with, and spoke with, both undercover agents from January until his arrest in June of 2014, telling them of his plans and discussing the various terrorists groups that are in Syria in an effort to decide which one to join. They confirmed together that other groups fighting around the vicinity of Syria would be more accommodating than Jabhat al-Nusra that would never let him leave.

Wolfe did not contest the charges and plead guilty in June 2014. He admitted that from late summer of 2013 to the early summer of 2014, he planned to travel to the Middle East to provide support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham/Syria (ISIS).

The defendant admitted that he applied for and obtained a U.S. passport, and took other steps to prepare to support ISIS. He practiced military maneuvers and took physical fitness training, purchased glasses that would perform well in battle.

He also tried to conceal his communications about his plan to travel to Syria to engage in violent jihad.

Wolfe was planning to travel to Europe to meet an FBI undercover employee and had purchased airline tickets to do so. The defendant thought this individual would help him travel to Syria through Turkey.

In furtherance of his scheme to add ISIL, Wolfe went to Houston and was arrested in June of 2014 when he was at the airport. He was attempting to fly to Toronto, Canada. From there he was planning to fly from Canada through Iceland and land in Denmark.

He was planning to travel to Syria to meet up with ISIL and join them in their armed conflict.

Wolfe has been in federal custody since his arrest at the Houston airport.

The arrest came after efforts of various law enforcement agencies, including investigations by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Army Intelligence, several Austin area law enforcement departments, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Texas Attorney General, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2

Michael Todd Wolfe Criminal Complaint