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Ohio Man Arrested For Allegedly Plotting Attacks Against Jews

Damon Joseph, 21, was arrested at 6 p.m. on Friday in Holland, Ohio, on a charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically ISIS, as he planned attacks on two synagogues and expressed a desire to kill a rabbi, according to the FBI. 

Authorities became aware of Joseph because of his social media activities in May, according to Assistant Special FBI Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato, adding that Joseph had converted to Islam and expressed interest in meeting others. Authorities monitored Joseph as he began to produce jihadi propaganda videos. 

In October, Joseph continued his production of videos, but he was shifting from creating propaganda to planning acts of physical terrorism, Fortunato said.

In November, Joseph expressed that his physical jihad was the path he would like to take and expressed sympathy for the October shootings at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. He made plans to target two synagogues, according to Fortunato. 

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said that Joseph is charged with one count of attempting to provide support for a foreign terrorist organization, in this case ISIS. 

"The facts in this case are indeed troubling," Herdman said. "He personally chose weapons that would carry out maximum damage."

In his initial court appearance Monday, Joseph waived a preliminary hearing.

Herdman said that authorities would be in contact with the Jewish community to ensure them of their safety. 

This is a developing news story. We will continue to update as details become available.


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Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.
kevin.anderson@ideastream.org | 216-916-6250