Illinois National Guardsman Accused Of Trying To Aid ISIS
A member of the Illinois Army National Guard and another suburban Chicago man have been arrested on charges of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago said in a statement Thursday that 22-year-old Hasan Edmonds and his cousin, 29-year-old Jonas Edmonds, were arrested Wednesday night.
It says Hasan Edmonds was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport while trying to fly to Egypt. The other suspect was arrested at his home.
The complaint says the men planned an attack on a military facility in northern Illinois.
Following the arrest, a spokesman for the Illinois National Guard said that Hasan Edmonds' security clearance had been revoked. Lt. Col. Brad Leighton said the Guard's focus was on "ensuring the safety of our soldiers, airmen and their families", and that they would not let the arrest "detract us from fulfilling our missions".
Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds were scheduled to make an initial appearance in Chicago federal court later Thursday. The U-S Attorney's Office says both men are U-S. citizens.
Gov. Bruce Rauner issued the following statement Thursday.
“Last night, I was informed that the Illinois National Guard soldier was arrested for alleged terrorist activities including attempting to join and assist ISIS and conspiring to facilitate other terrorist actions. I commend the Illinois National Guard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for working together closely to apprehend this individual and his associates. On behalf of all citizens of Illinois, I thank all the members of our National Guard as well as the FBI for protecting our state and defending our country. “
Conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in rison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U-S Attorney's office for Northern Illinois, which is overseeing prosecution of the case along with the Counterterrorism Section of the U-S Justice Department's National Security Division.
UPDATE - Two suburban Chicago cousins accused of seeking to provide material support to the Islamic State group have made an initial appearance in federal court.
The Aurora cousins entered Thursday's hearing with their ankles and wrists shackled.
One, 29-year-old Jonas Edmonds, looked surprised at the dozens of journalists on courtroom benches. He kept swiveling in his chair and stroking his beard. At one point, he yawned loudly.
His cousin, 22-year-old National Guard member Hasan Edmonds, sat still. He answered ``yes'' in a barely audible voice when the judge asked if he understood the charges.
Hasan Edmunds' lawyer said his client wanted a bond hearing. Jonas Edmonds' attorney said he won't challenge his detention. A detention hearing for Hasan Edmunds is set for May 30.
Both attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.