Two Illinois men arrested, charged with conspiring to support ISIS
A member of Army National Guard and his cousin have been arrested in Illinois for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist organization ISIS, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
In the last 18 months, the Justice Department’s National Security Division has prosecuted or is prosecuting 32 cases of people attempting to travel abroad to join or providing support to terrorist groups. Of those cases, 18 allegedly involve support to ISIS.
Army National Guard Spc. Hasan Edmonds, 22 was arrested Wednesday night at Chicago Midway International Airport while attempting to travel to Egypt to eventually join ISIS, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and other federal officials said in a statement.
His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home in Aurora in connection with an alleged plot to carry out an armed attack on a U.S. military facility in northern Illinois where Hasan Edmonds had been training.
The two U.S. citizens were charged, in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, with one count each of conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
Prosecutors said Jonas Edmonds planned to carry out the terror attack in the United States after Hasan Edmonds left the country.
The two men were scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan. It is unclear if they have attorneys.
A federal complaint alleges that Hasan Edmonds came to the attention of the FBI in late 2014, when the authorities learned that he and Jonas Edmonds had a plan for Hasan Edmonds to travel overseas to fight with ISIS. The complaints use the acronym ISIL, or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Hasan Edmonds, an active member of the Illinois Army National Guard, planned to use his military training to fight for the terrorist organization, prosecutors said in a statement. Hasan Edmonds booked airline travel to depart Wednesday from Chicago and arrive in Cairo Thursday.
The cousins presented an undercover FBI informant with the plan to attack an unspecified U.S. military facility, prosecutors said.
Jonas Edmonds invited the FBI informant to assist in the attack and said they would use Hasan Edmonds’ uniforms and information he provided on accessing the base and targeting officers, prosecutor said.
“Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack,” Carlin said in the statement.
Conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.