Aaron Travis Daniels, 20, aka Harun Muhammad, aka Abu Yusef, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2339B.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman of the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division, and agencies participating in the Southern Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) made the announcement. The plea was entered before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr.
“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.”
“This case demonstrates how terrorist activities abroad can reach into our local communities,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “Our office and agencies in the JTTF will continue to cooperate as we work to protect our national security.”
JTTF agents arrested Daniels on Nov. 7, 2106, as he attempted to leave Columbus with the intent to join ISIS in Libya. A federal grand jury indicted him on Nov. 10, 2016. Daniels has been in custody since his arrest.
Daniels faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Columbus JTTF is made up of officers and agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, The Ohio State University Police Department, the Ohio Investigative Unit, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the John Glenn International Airport Police Department, Westerville Police Department and Columbus Division of Fire.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica W. Knight and Jessica Kim, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Gibson of the Southern District of Ohio, and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.