Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Madison, Wisconsin, Man Charged With Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreuil of the Western District of Wisconsin and Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Shields Jr. of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division announced that Joshua Ray Van Haften, 34, of Madison, Wisconsin, has been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources, namely himself as personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization.  As alleged in the complaint, Van Haften intended to travel into Iraq or Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

The complaint alleges that Van Haften left the United States on Aug. 26, 2014, and traveled to Istanbul.  As alleged in the complaint, 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.  “Stemming the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria and holding accountable those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations remains a top priority for the National Security Division.  I would like to thank all the agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate, arrest, and vigorously prosecute all extremists who choose to aid ISIL, or any other terrorist organization, and to stop them before they harm the United States or our allies,” said U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil.  “We also remain committed to working with dedicated community members to bring this cycle to an end.”

“This arrest underscores the importance of our JTTF law enforcement partnerships to bring those to justice who provide support and resources to terrorist organizations such as ISIL,” said Special Agent in Charge Shields.  “We hope this arrest will serve as a deterrent for others who may be terrorist sympathizers here in Wisconsin, across the nation or abroad: they will be held accountable for support of terrorism against our citizens and our international partners.”

Van Haften was arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago yesterday evening after his arrival in custody on an international flight from Turkey. 

Van Haften will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court at 9:45 a.m. CDT today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker of the Western District of Wisconsin.   If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. 

This case was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the members of which include the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Wisconsin Police Department.  Assistance was also provided by the Department of Homeland Security.  The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Anderson of the Western District of Wisconsin, and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The charges contained a complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Van Haften Complaint

National Security
Press Release Number: 
Updated June 15, 2016