ADL Praises Law Enforcement for Thwarting Terror Attack on Jewish Community Near Toledo

Cleveland, OH, December 10, 2018 … ADL today applauded law enforcement for thwarting a planned terror attack against the Jewish community in the Toledo, Ohio area.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Damon M. Joseph, 21, of Holland, Ohio was arrested and charged in federal court after planning an attack on a synagogue near Toledo. Joseph was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Joseph was arrested Friday evening after he was alleged to have taken possession of two AR-15 rifles.

“We are tremendously grateful to federal and local law enforcement for apprehending the suspect, and for working so diligently to prevent our community from experiencing another horrific terrorist attack,” ADL Cleveland Regional Director Jeremy Pappas said. “The Jewish community is still grieving following the October attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and it’s shocking to hear another attack was being planned.”

The suspect reportedly told an undercover agent regarding the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, “I admire what the guy did with the shooting actually … I can see myself carrying out this type of operation inshallah. They wouldn’t even expect [an attack] in my area…”

“We are tremendously grateful to law enforcement at both the federal and local levels for apprehending the suspect, and for working so diligently to prevent terror from hitting our community,” said Jeremy Pappas, ADL Cleveland Regional Director. “The Jewish community is still grieving following the October attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We can never let that happen again.”

According to the Department of Justice, earlier in 2018, Joseph drew the attention of law enforcement by posting photographs of knives and firearms on his social media accounts, as well as a photograph originally distributed by the media wing of ISIS.

As ADL documented in an April 2018 report, since 2002, 127 individuals have been involved in 98 domestic plots or attacks motivated by Islamist extremist ideology, 90 percent of whom were either U.S. citizens, lawful permanent or temporary residents, or in the United States with documentation at the time of their arrest. Of the 90 percent, 52 percent were U.S.-born.

“We’d also like to give special thanks to Justin E. Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and FBI Special Agent Jeff Forunato, for their efforts to prevent another mass shooting at a synagogue,” Pappas said.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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