Damon M. Joseph, 21, of Holland, Ohio, was charged today in federal court with one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, for allegedly planning an attack on a synagogue in the Toledo, Ohio area. Joseph was arrested Friday evening after he took possession of two semi-automatic rifles.
The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S Attorney Justin E. Herdman for the Northern District of Ohio and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato of the FBI’s Cleveland Division.
“Damon Joseph was allegedly inspired by ISIS’ call to violence and hate. He planned to attack the victims, based on their religion, at a Toledo-area synagogue in the name of ISIS, and hoped that it would lead to the deaths of many and spread fear,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “His alleged actions would be an assault on the liberties and respect for humanity we hold so dear. We will continue to make every effort to prevent such attacks from occurring. I commend the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who identified the threat posed by this defendant and took action to protect the public from his plans.”
“This man spent months planning a violent terrorist attack on behalf of ISIS here in the United States, and eventually targeted a Jewish synagogue in the Toledo area,” said U.S. Attorney Herdman. “The charges describe a calculated man fueled by an ideology of hatred and intent on killing innocent people. The FBI, our police and Justice Department employees are to be credited for working to stop the defendant before he could act.”
“In a matter of months, Damon Joseph progressed from radicalized, virtual jihadist to attack planner,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Fortunato. “He ultimately decided to target two Toledo-area synagogues for a mass-casualty attack in the name of ISIS. Joseph will now be accountable in a court of law for his pursuit of a violent act of terrorism upon our fellow citizens attending their desired house of worship.”