Damon Joseph, who was arrested on Dec. 7 on charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State (ISIS), progressed from a pot-smoking college student to a pro-ISIS jihadi, his social media trail reportedly shows.
Joseph, 21, faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of plotting an attack in Toledo. “I admire what the guy did with the shooting, actually… I can see myself carrying out this type of operations inshallah. They wouldn’t even expect [an attack] in my area,” he allegedly told undercover FBI agents regarding the Oct. 27 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in which 11 people were killed. He specifically said, according to officials, that he wanted to kill a rabbi.
In September, Joseph allegedly sent an ISIS recruiting video that he had made to the undercover FBI agents. On Dec. 2, he allegedly sent them details of his plan to attack a Toledo synagogue; he then made notes on the weapons and ammunition he would need, the timing of the attack, and how to escape. He met with an undercover FBI agent on the evening of Dec. 7 and took possession of two AR-15-style rifles that he thought the agent had bought for the attack. Joseph was then arrested.
According to an exclusive report from Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) project, in the months leading up to his arrest, Joseph’s posts on Facebook, where his username is Abdullah Yusuf, included content and quotes from late Yemeni-American sheikh and al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, Michigan-based Islamist preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril, and pro-ISIS Maryland imam Sheikh Suleiman Anwar. Yusuf posted a graphic showing the photos of many different mass shooters and domestic terrorists, many posts commenting on mass shootings and terror attacks, and another graphic that read: “Hadith: Muslims who live in the land of non-Muslims must obey the laws of the land. False: Nowhere in the Quran or Sunnah is this mentioned.”
Yusuf also wrote: “My main goal is to blow up and act like I don’t know nobody.” Some of his posts are anti-Semitic and he says he has spent time in prison and wants to be a prison counselor. He also has an Instagram account, where he posts similar content, including a photo showing two rings bearing Arabic writing frequently used by ISIS.
On Oct. 28, Yusuf wrote: “Notice how with the recent synagogue shooting they are calling it a hate crime instead of an act of terrorism because hes a white guy. If a mass killing was in the name of something political than by definition its called TERRORISM!! Even though I believe it doesn’t always have to be political. Any mass shooting where people loose their lives is causing TERROR no matter what race or religion the person is doing it!!!!!”
Yusuf shared a post the same day showing a graphic that read: “Don’t be fooled. Politics is no longer right vs left it has always been Jew vs gentile.”
On Oct. 30, Yusuf shared a graphic that read: “On the for real side… why is it when the Jews get attacked.. it’s an attack on everybody?”
Yusuf shared, on Oct. 31, a post by a Facebook friend that read: “Every soul must taste death.” This is from Quran 3:185.
Yusuf posted on Nov. 3 a graphic that read: “Half of jihad is media” and wrote: “Haqq.”
On Nov. 5, Yusuf posted a photo of himself holding up one index finger.
On Nov. 22, Yusuf shared a graphic with a quote from the Quran that read: “But allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward.” The graphic was produced by UK-based organization Invite To Islam, which may be connected to ISIS and openly promotes jihadi figures such as Anwar Al-‘Awlaki.
Yusuf shared a post on Nov. 27 that read: “Never submit to kufr!”
On Dec. 6, Yusuf shared a post that read: “We are Muslim, you kill us, you rape us, you invade our lands, when we fight back, you call us terrorists.”