U.S. citizen pleads guilty to helping ISIS

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Twenty-year-old Aron Travis Daniels of Ohio, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison after an undercover FBI sting operation found that he was attempting to contact people via email to join the Islamic State beginning in September 2015.  In some of his emails, Daniels said he would require financial assistance to travel to Syria “to do jihad.”

Daniels has pleaded guilty to having sent e-mails to people “seeking assistance in traveling to Syria to conduct violent jihad and expressed a desire to stop the Russian-Iranian ‘onslaught of our people,'” according to court records.

“Daniels admitted that he attempted to travel abroad to provide material support to ISIS,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente.  “Identifying, thwarting and holding accountable individuals who attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a top priority of the Department of Justice.”

Believing he was in contact with jihadists for several months, Daniels eventually sent $250 via Western Union to a person in Libya whom he believed was an intermediary to an Islamic State recruiter.

An undercover FBI informant posing as an Islamic State recruiter then contacted Daniels and asked what he had done to prove his allegiance to the Islamic State. Daniels said he sent $250. The young man also asked for advice on how to join ISIS and how he could get to certain Islamic State-controlled areas.

Daniels was arrested on November 7, 2016, just before he attempted to board a flight from Cleveland to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. According to the informant, Daniels planned to get to Tunisia from the Caribbean.

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