CLEVELAND, Ohio – An Ohio man was arrested on Friday after federal authorities said he planned to carryout a mass shooting at a Toledo-area Jewish synagogue in the name of ISIS. Damon Joseph, 21, of Holland, Ohio pledged allegiance to the terrorist group after consuming the terrorist’s organization online propaganda, and radicalized over a period of months to wanting to carry out a mass-killing, FBI Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato said.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors announced Joseph’s arrest at a Monday news conference in Toledo. Joseph was scheduled to appear before a judge there Monday afternoon.
Investigators became aware of Joseph after they noticed pictures of knives and firearms on his social media accounts, court records show. FBI agents posing as members of ISIS began a months long conversation with Joseph in which he offered his services in creating propaganda videos.
The conversations ranged from details about his propaganda videos to his beliefs, and he admitted he struggled with the idea of killing but was not afraid to go to prison, since he would be able to recruit fellow inmates. Then in September, the agents asked Joseph if he hated people in America. “Oh yeah, definitely,” answered Joseph, according to court records. “The gays the Christians the Catholics the Jews you name it.”
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said Joseph planned attack, but refused to name the synagogue that Joseph expressed interest in attacking. Officials did note that Joseph intentionally planned the attack during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah which begins December 22.