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Monday, June 10, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wisconsin Man Accused |of Trying to Support ISIL

(CN) - A Madison, Wisconsin man was charged Thursday with trying to provide support for Islamic State militants, the Justice Department announced.

Joshua Ray Van Haften, 34, was planning to travel to either Iraq or Syria to join the militant group alternately known as ISIL or ISIS, prosecutors said. He was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Wednesday night after arriving on a flight back to the U.S. from Turkey.

Prosecutors alleged that Van Haften left the United States on August 26, 2014, and traveled to Istanbul. Turkey shares a land border with Syria and is known to be an entry point into Syria for those who wish to join ISIL.

"Van Haften traveled overseas for the alleged purpose of joining and attempting to provide material support to ISIL," said Assistant Attorney General Carlin in a written statement.

While in Turkey, prosecutors said, Van Haften exchanged several messages on Facebook with friends and other alleged Islamic State supporters, discussing his intentions.

"It's coming! I can smell its perfume! Allah!" he wrote to one friend.

To another he confided, "I was about to cross to Syria ... but I didn't make it. Hopefully soon, though."

Van Haften was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker Thursday morning. If convicted, Van Haften faces up to 15 years in prison.

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