Aaron Travis Davis (L) and Shivan Patel
A 20-year-old man from Ohio pleaded guilty to trying to provide material support to Islamic State (ISIS).
Aaron Travis Daniels tried to communicate through email with terrorist recruiters to get help to travel to Syria to join ISIS. After he sent $250 to a person in Libya who he believed was an intermediary to ISIS, the FBI moved in with an informant posing as an ISIS recruiter.
In conversations with the informant, Daniels asked for advice on how to join the terror group and how to reach Islamic State-controlled territory.
He eventually purchased a plane ticket and was arrested before boarding a flight last November. He had planned to travel to the Caribbean, carry on to Tunisia, and from there, make his way to Syria.
Daniels faced up to 20 years in prison.
Meanwhile, an Indian-American man from Virginia who converted to Islam was convicted of making materially-false statements on an application to join the military.
Shivam Patel, 27, of Williamsburg became “obsessed with Islam,” according to his parents. Patel traveled to Jordan where he was arrested. With his parent’s permission, the FBI searched his room and computer where they found evidence that he had researched how to beat a polygraph test, downloaded copies of an ISIS online magazine and searched for how to join the group.
In an affidavit, FBI Special Agent Thomas Pembroke wrote, “He wanted to do something ‘glorious’.” Patel had expressed support for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who shot 13 soldiers to death in 2009 in a jihadi killing spree at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.
Patel also expressed support for the terror attacks in Paris, Nice and Orlando, as well as admiration for Anwar al-Awlaki, the American leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He made an Islamic State flag and told a confidential source that he wanted to replace his neighbor’s American flag with the ISIS one.
Patel was sentenced to five years in prison.