SAN ANGELO, Texas (WBAY) – Two Milwaukee men are charged with attempting to support a foreign terrorist organization — specifically, ISIS.
FBI and local agents arrested Jason Michael Ludke, 35, and Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, near San Angelo, Texas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says. Authorities believe Ludke and Padilla-Conde were on their way from Wisconsin to Mexico to acquire aid and documents for traveling to Syria or Iraq.
An investigation by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force led to the arrests.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Milwaukee says Ludke sent a social media “friend” request to an undercover FBI employee. He told the agent he “wants to make ‘hijra’ (migration) away from ‘darul kufr’ (land of the infidel).” In further conversations, Ludke said because of his criminal past he would have to travel through Mexico.
Ludke was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Brown County in 2002.
Ludke told the undercover agent he converted to Islam in 2003 and had a friend who might also be interested in joining ISIS. He said Padilla-Conde had firearms training from serving in the military in Cuba.
After their arrests, the men told the FBI they left Wisconsin because they couldn’t pay their rent and were about to be evicted. Ludke admitted cutting a tracking device off his ankle. Padilla-Conde said while they were driving to Texas he tried talking Ludke out of going overseas and planned to leave Ludke once they reached Mexico.
The crimes they’re accused of carry up to 20 years in prison if convicted.