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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Madison Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

MADISON, WIS. – John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Joshua Van Haften, 34, Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Madison to attempting to provide material support and resources, namely himself as personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization.

Van Haften admitted that in 2014, he attempted to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), knowing that the organization was a designated terrorist organization that has engaged and engages in terrorism.

U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson scheduled sentencing for February 17, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.  Van Haften faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.  

According to the government’s evidence, Van Haften traveled to Turkey in 2014 and attempted to cross into Syria.  He posted online that he had taken an oath of allegiance to the leader of ISIL, and that “The only thing that matters to me is joining my brothers for the war against America [sic] liars.” 

Van Haften was arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in April 2015 after his arrival in custody on an international flight from Turkey. He has been held in federal custody since his arrest.

The charge against Van Haften is the result of an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the members of which include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Dane County Sheriff’s Office; and 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, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Anderson, and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section.

Updated October 20, 2016