A Wisconsin man who previously was convicted for child sexual assault and for making death threats against a federal judge pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Jason Michael Ludke shot a video of himself claiming he was prepared to join the Islamic State and vowed his loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The plea agreement said he and his co-conspirator made arrangements to travel to Syria and Iraq by way of Mexico so they could join the Islamic State.
In a conversation with an FBI undercover employee, Ludke said he had received training in jiujitsu and computers that he thought would be helpful when joining the Islamic State. Ludke disclosed that information under the impression that the agent was helping him complete travel plans.
Ludke, who was then on probation for previous convictions and had removed the tracking device attached at his ankle, was arrested with his co-conspirator on Oct. 5, 2016 as they headed to the Texas-Mexico border.
Ludke could face up to 20 years behind bars and a maximum term of supervised release of life and up to a $250,000 fine.
“This conviction demonstrates the United States’ resolute commitment to protecting our country and combatting [sic] foreign terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin said in a statement Tuesday. “Individuals like Ludke who seek to provide material support to ISIS will be held accountable."
Ludke was convicted in 2002 for the second-degree sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to four years in prison. He also threatened to kill a federal judge in 2009 if the judge refused to “give up your post of kufr rule and be under Islamic treaty.” He faced a sentence of 32 months behind bars for threatening the judge.