A Wisconsin man who traveled to the Middle East in August in a failed attempt to join the Islamic State group was arrested Wednesday evening, federal authorities said Thursday.
Joshua Van Haften, 34-years-old of Madison, was arrested upon his return from Turkey at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. He is charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Van Haften was scheduled to appear Thursday morning in federal court in Madison, the Gazette reported.
The criminal complaint, which had been sealed since Oct. 28, alleges that Van Haften talked to people about his plan to join ISIS before leaving the United State in August for Istanbul.
The complaint cites Facebook posts from Van Haften said that he was unable to cross the border from Turkey into Syria. In one post, Van Haften complained that the people who were supposed to help him just wanted his money, and that he had almost no cash left. He went on to say he was dropped off on a road in the country and never picked up.
Wisconsin court records showed several previous convictions for Van Haften, including felony battery in 1998, second degree felony sexual assault in 1999 and disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor offense, in 2007, online court records show. All of the offenses took place in Rock County.
Van Haften was sentenced to three years’ probation on the battery conviction in 1998, but his probation was revoked in 1999 and he then was sentenced to a year in prison. He was slapped with eight years’ probation on the sexual assault charge in 1999, but that was revoked in 2000.
Van Haften planned to move to Egypt in 2012, and in 2013 he left a voice mail with a Wisconsin official stating he is “no longer ever coming back to America, hate it,” according to a 2013 Rock County criminal complaint.