DOJ: U.S. Army National Guard soldier, cousin arrested in terror plot

DOJ: U.S. Army National Guard soldier, cousin arrested in terror plot

CHICAGO (WCSC) - An Army National Guard soldier and his cousin have been arrested in connection with a plot to attack an Illinois military post, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport by members of the Chicago FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to a release from the agency. Edmonds was reportedly attempting to fly to Cairo, investigators said.

His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested without incident at his home in Aurora, the release said.

Both men are U.S. citizens and face one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Federal agents say the pair met with undercover FBI agents about their plan to carry out an armed attack against a U.S. military facility in Northern Illinois where Hasan Edmonds had been training.

A criminal complaint states Hasan Edmonds came to the attention of the FBI in late 2014, and that the two men devised a plan for Hasan to travel overseas to wage violence on behalf of ISIS.

After Hasan Edmonds left the country, Jonas Edmonds would carry out the attack on the Illinois base, the complaint alleges.

"According to the charges filed today, the defendants allegedly conspired to provide material support to ISIL and planned to travel overseas to support the terrorist organization," Assistant Attorney General Carlin said.

Investigators said both defendants met with an FBI undercover employee and presented a plan for the attack. Jonas Edmonds asked the FBI undercover employee to assist in the attack and explained that they would use Hasan Edmonds' uniforms and the information he supplied about how to access the installation and target officers for attack, according to the complaint.

"They plotted to attack members of our military within the United States. Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack," Carlin said.

Conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

"We will pursue and prosecute with vigor those who support ISIL and its agenda of ruthless violence," said U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon. "Anyone who threatens to harm our citizens and allies, whether abroad or here at home, will face the full force of justice."

The initial appearances of Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds are scheduled for Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan at 4 p.m.

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