Wisconsin man pleads guilty to trying to join extremists

Joshua Van Haften photo recent

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to trying to join the Islamic State group.

Joshua Van Haften, formerly of Madison, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of attempting to give material support to a terrorist group. The U.S. Department of Justice says he faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 17.

The 35-year-old Van Haften was charged last year with trying to cross from Turkey to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He was arrested in April 2015 after he returned to Chicago from Istanbul. Court documents said he was to meet a contact to take him into Syria but nobody appeared, and he returned to Istanbul.

A psychologist found Van Haften competent to stand trial and Van Haften didn’t challenge that.