A 21-year-old man in Ohio who was allegedly planning to attack a synagogue on behalf of ISIS in Toledo is in custody, law enforcement officials announced on Monday.
Damon Joseph, from Holland, Ohio, was arrested on Friday and charged with attempting to provide material to support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group, according to local ABC News outlet WTVG.
Authorities accuse Joseph of planning a terrorist attack on a Jewish congregation after being radicalized by ISIS online.
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said the suspect was plotting to strike the synagogue and kill a rabbi in an attack inspired by the October massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“I admire what the guy did with the shooting actually,” Joseph said to an undercover FBI agent, referring to the October massacre, according to the Department of Justice.
“I can see myself carrying out this type of operation,” the Toledo Blade reported him saying.
Joseph allegedly sent his synagogue attack plan to an undercover agent, according to an FBI affidavit.
Officials say Joseph, who spent months planning the attack, met with an undercover agent Friday and took possession of two AR-15 rifles, prompting his arrest.
“The two met on Dec. 7 at a predetermined location and Joseph took a black duffel bag carrying two AR-15 type weapons. Joseph was then arrested,” authorities said.
Officials say he expressed hateful views against “gays, Christians, Catholics and Jews.”
He stated “Jewish people were evil and deserved what was coming to them,” in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting.
“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 Justin Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio in a press release. “The charges describe a calculated man fueled by an ideology of hatred and intent on killing innocent people.”
Joseph faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.