ISIS Recruit Boasted of Training in Cuban Military

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
From El Paso Times:

2 suspected ISIS recruits heading to El Paso arrested

Two Wisconsin men were arrested earlier this month as they were on their way to El Paso where they allegedly planned to cross into Mexico to acquire travel documents to travel overseas to join the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, federal court documents say.

Jason Michael Ludke, 35, and Yosvany Padilla-Conde, 30, were arrested Oct. 5 near San Angelo, Texas, on charges of attempting to provide support to the Islamic State, according to the documents.

The FBI was alerted to Ludke and Padilla-Conde after an undercover agent posing as an IS recruiter received a friend request from Ludke back in September through a “social media platform,” according to court documents.

The documents state that Ludke, who had converted to Islam and was known as Abuz Sayyaf or Muhammad Nassir, told the undercover agent in chat conversations of his intentions to travel to Syria and Iraq. Ludke allegedly wanted to travel first to Mexico, where he has family, to purchase traveling documents.

According to court records, Ludke allegedly expressed his support for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of ISIS, and had pledged allegiance to him in a video sent to the agent. Ludke also said that Padilla-Conde, as he referred as “his brother,” was interested in joining him.

Padilla-Conde also sent an email and video to the agent pledging allegiance to Al-Bahdadi and introduced himself as Saadiq Ibn Abbas or Abu Zaid, the documents said.

On Oct. 5, Ludke told the undercover agent in an email that he was travelling in Texas and was on his way to El Paso.

Ludke stated that his brother-in-law, a Palestinian Muslim, advised that he go to El Paso, where he and Padilla-Conde intended to sell their vehicle before crossing into Mexico, court documents say.

In that same conversation, Ludke allegedly said he was to meet a woman in Texas who he intended to marry and live in Syria. He also stated that Padilla-Conde had received firearms training from his time in the military in Cuba and was a benefit to “the brothers.” Court documents do not say if Padilla-Conde is Cuban.