Aaron Travis Daniels, 21, aka Harun Muhammad, aka Abu Yusef of Columbus was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 80 months in prison for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The court also granted the government’s request to place Daniels under court supervision for the rest of his life.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman of the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and agencies participating in the Columbus Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) announced the sentence handed down today by Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr.
Documents filed with the court say Daniels met with an ISIS recruiter in December 2015 and sent funds to ISIS in order to “show his worth” to an ISIS recruiter. JTTF agents arrested Daniels on November 7, 2016, as he attempted to leave Columbus with the intent to join ISIS in Libya. A federal grand jury indicted him on November 10, 2016. Daniels pleaded guilty on July 6, 2017 to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Daniels has been in custody since his arrest.
“One of a terrorist organization’s most valuable and dangerous assets is having control over a person willing to support and advance terrorism in the United States,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “Our office and agencies in the JTTF will continue to cooperate as we work to protect our national security.”
Chief Judge Sargus also granted the government’s requests that, during Daniels’ supervised release, he receives ongoing mental health treatment, is prohibited from using alcohol or controlled substances, cannot travel internationally, and has no access to the internet without court approval. The court also ordered that Daniels be subject to search at any time without probable cause while on supervised release.
The Columbus JTTF is made up of officers and agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Columbus Division of Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, The Ohio State University Police Department, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the John Glenn International Airport Police Department, Westerville Police Department and Columbus Division of Fire.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica W. Knight and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section represented the United States in this case. Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Gibson also represented the United States in this case when he was with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office.