MILWAUKEE — Two Milwaukee men were charged in federal court with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in the Middle East. The charges were announced Friday by U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad, Eastern District of Wisconsin.
This case was investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Jason Michael Ludke, 35, of Milwaukee, was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a designated foreign terrorist organization commonly referred to as ISIL, ISIS or the Islamic State. Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, also of Milwaukee, was charged in the same complaint with aiding and abetting Ludke’s attempt to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, ISIL.
Ludke and Padilla-Conde were arrested by the FBI and local law enforcement near San Angelo, Texas. It is alleged in the complaint that the two were traveling from Wisconsin to Mexico, where they intended to acquire aid and documents necessary to travel to Syria and/or Iraq.
Haanstad commended the work of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and stated the following: “The United States is committed to identifying and arresting persons intent on providing material support of any kind to foreign terrorist organizations. Those organizations pose a threat to United States' interests abroad, including threats to our military personnel, and pose a threat to the homeland upon the possible return of terrorist supporters to the United States.”
“Terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority in keeping Americans safe,” said Justin Tolomeo, special agent in charge of FBI Milwaukee. “The arrest of these two individuals from Wisconsin underscores how the real threat of terrorism can occur anywhere, at any time. I would like to commend the efforts of the JTTF, which includes a wide range of our law enforcement partners who work tirelessly for the safety of our citizens. We encourage all citizens to remain vigilant in reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul L. Kanter, Eastern District of Wisconsin, is prosecuting the case. If convicted of these offenses both men face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
The public is reminded that the complaint contains only allegations of criminal conduct, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.