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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Milwaukee Man Convicted of Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIS

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Special Agent-in-Charge R. Justin Tolomeo of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division announced that on October 25, 2018, Jason Michael Ludke (age: 37), of Milwaukee, pled guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization – i.e., the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and al’Sham (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), ad-Dawla al’Islamiyya fi al-‘Iraq wa-sh-Sham, Daesh, and Dawla al Islamiya – in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B(a)(1).

Ludke and a co-conspirator agreed that they would travel through Mexico to Syria and Iraq in order to join ISIS. Ludke arranged to do so with a man whom he believed was a member of ISIS. Ludke also recorded a video of himself pledging his allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and stating that he was ready to join ISIS. On October 5, 2016, Ludke and his coconspirator were traveling to the Texas/Mexico border in order to accomplish their plan to join ISIS, when law enforcement located and arrested them.

Ludke has prior convictions for child sexual assault and for making death threats against a federal judge. Ludke was on probation at the time he was arrested and had cut the tracking device from his ankle before leaving Wisconsin.           

United States Attorney Krueger said this conviction demonstrates the United States’ resolute commitment to protecting our country and combatting foreign terrorism.  Individuals like Ludke who seek to provide material support to ISIS will be held accountable. Krueger commended the excellent work of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in securing this conviction.

 “The FBI’s number one priority is protecting Americans from terrorism,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Justin Tolomeo. “I commend our Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which includes our local, state and federal partners, for their investigative efforts in identifying and arresting Jason Ludke that prevented him from joining the ISIS terror group.”

Ludke faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years, a maximum term of supervised release of five years, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Joint Terrorism Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Kanter and Benjamin Taibleson and Trial Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman of the Department’s Counterterrorism Section.

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Updated October 30, 2018