Darren Arness Jackson

Darren Arness Jackson is an American citizen who was arrested on July 21, 2016, along with Gregory Hubbard and Dayne Atani Christian, for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Jackson provided firearms and firearms training to Hubbard and a confidential FBI source who told him that they intended to travel to Syria to join ISIS. On July 21, 2016, he drove Hubbard and the FBI source to Miami International Airport, in full awareness that they intended to depart from there for Syria to join ISIS. He also expressed praise for ISIS and ISIS-related acts of terrorism, as well as a desire to commit his own violent acts of terrorism and to travel to Syria and join ISIS himself.“Two Florida Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 4, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/two-florida-men-plead-guilty-conspiring-provide-material-support-isil;
“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.
Jackson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS,“Two Florida Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 4, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/two-florida-men-plead-guilty-conspiring-provide-material-support-isil. and in May 2018, he was sentenced to four years in prison.“Three Florida Men Sentenced for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIS,” U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Public Affairs, May 16, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-florida-men-sentenced-conspiring-provide-material-support-isis. He was released in December 2019.“DARREN ARNESS JACKSON,” Find an Inmate – Federal Bureau of Prisons, accessed April 1, 2021, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/.

Darren Arness Jackson is from West Palm Beach, Florida.“Two Florida Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 4, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/two-florida-men-plead-guilty-conspiring-provide-material-support-isil. Little is known about his personal life, but he reportedly lived with his wife and three daughters in their late teens and was an unemployed boiler maintenance worker.John Pacenti, “ISIS in Florida: Former FBI agent on why arrests didn’t come sooner,” Palm Beach Post, July 24, 2017, http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/isis-florida-former-fbi-agent-why-arrests-didn-come-sooner/Pezdh6eBg1C3B1zVDMKVuI/;
Paula McMahon, “Guilty pleas expected for two Palm Beach County men arrested in terror sting,” Sun Sentinel, March 14, 2017, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-reg-palm-beach-terror-sting-update-20170314-story.html.
In 2015, Hubbard was contacted by a confidential FBI informant pretending to be an ISIS follower.Jane Musgrave, “NEW: Lake Park man pleads guilty to trying to help ISIS,” Palm Beach Post, March 29, 2017, http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/new-lake-park-man-pleads-guilty-trying-help-isis/ZSNaFgWr2pw0K8wMdXgsRO/;
Paula McMahon, “Second man pleads guilty in Palm Beach terrorism sting,” Sun Sentinel, April 4, 2017, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-pn-terrorism-sting-plea-palm-beach-20170403-story.html;
“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 5, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.
The FBI informant would record over 200 hours of conversation among Christian, Jackson, and Hubbard over the course of the next year.Jane Musgrave, “Second PBC man pleads guilty in plot to help ISIS,” Palm Beach Post, April 4, 2017, http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/second-pbc-man-pleads-guilty-plot-help-isis/8o3UPtnn7sX8YgYv0trNCP/. The men reportedly used code words to communicate, including the phrase “soccer team” in reference to ISIS, and “playing soccer” in reference to violent activity.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 5, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.

Although the FBI source befriended Hubbard and Christian in the summer of 2015, Hubbard did not introduce the FBI source to Jackson until May 11, 2016.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 4-5, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf. According to the criminal complaint filed against him, Jackson had previously intended to travel abroad to join ISIS, but then decided he wanted to learn Arabic before doing so.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 5, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf. On May 11, Jackson, Hubbard, and the FBI source went to a local shooting range and used firearms that Jackson had provided. Jackson remarked that he felt persecuted because he was Muslim and assumed that the others at the shooting range were training to kill Muslims.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 5-6, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf. On July 9, Jackson again went shooting with Hubbard and the FBI source at a remote South Florida wildlife management area, supplying five of his own firearms.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 18, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.

On July 14, Jackson agreed to drive Hubbard and the FBI agent to Miami International Airport, in full awareness that they intended to travel overseas to join ISIS in Syria. He also agreed to supply his firearms for another target practice intended to “prepare Hubbard and the [FBI agent] to fight for ISIL [ISIS],” according to the criminal complaint filed against him. At this time, Jackson also remarked that he wished that he could do more to help them and that he could go to Syria himself, and advised them to “lie to the passport people about where they were going.” The following day, Jackson made plans with Hubbard and the FBI agent for their target practice. Although he was not aware that a terrorist attack had occurred in Nice, France, the previous day, he exclaimed “Allah Akhbar” when the FBI agent told him about it.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 19, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.

Jackson, Christian, the FBI agent, and another unnamed individual held target practice on July 16. Jackson again supplied weapons, as well as gun oil and paper targets. According to the criminal complaint filed against him, he referred to the practice as a “training session,” and gave “detailed firearms instruction” to the FBI source. During the session, the group spoke approvingly of the attack in Nice.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 19-20, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf. Two days later, on July 18, Jackson met with Hubbard and the FBI agent, who discussed the logistics of their travel to Syria. Jackson and Hubbard praised the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that had occurred the previous day. The group also discussed the merits of one of Jackson’s rifles.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 20-21, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf.

On July 21, 2016, Jackson drove Hubbard and the FBI agent in his car from West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport, so that they could depart on a flight bound for Berlin, Germany, from where they planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS. After he dropped them off, Jackson was arrested after he drove off of the airport premises.“United States of America v. Gregory Hubbard, Dayne Antani Christian, and Darren Arness Jackson,” George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, July 22, 2016, 21, https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Hubbard%20Complaint.pdf;
“Two Florida Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 4, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/two-florida-men-plead-guilty-conspiring-provide-material-support-isil.

On July 26, 2016, Jackson was indicted with a charge of conspiracy to provide personnel to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization, as he had provided firearms and firearms training to the FBI undercover and Hubbard, who intended to travel to Syria, and expressed a desire to join ISIS himself.  On April 4, 2017, Jackson pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.“Two Florida Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 4, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/two-florida-men-plead-guilty-conspiring-provide-material-support-isil.

On May 16, 2018, Jackson was sentenced to four years in prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision, after cooperating with the U.S. government. His co-conspirators were sentenced on the same day: Christian was sentenced to eight years in prison and five years post-release supervision, while Hubbard was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a lifetime of post-release supervision.“Three Florida Men Sentenced for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIS,” U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Public Affairs, May 16, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-florida-men-sentenced-conspiring-provide-material-support-isis.

Jackson was released from prison on December 17, 2019.“DARREN ARNESS JACKSON,” Find an Inmate – Federal Bureau of Prisons, accessed April 1, 2021, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/.

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