Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Join Islamic State

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bolingbrook Teen Pleads Guilty In Islamic State Terror Casse.

CHICAGO—An Illinois man arrested last year as he and two teenage siblings were about to board a plane for Turkey pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to attempting to travel to Syria to join Islamic State. A Bolingbrook man accused of trying to fly overseas to join the Islamic State terrorism group pleaded guilty Thursday in an unusual deal that calls for him to be monitored by the government until at least the year 2034, including frequent searches of his phone and online communications.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and faces as much as 15 years in prison, according to prosecutors. He later told the feds he noticed a heavy police presence when he arrived at the airport in October 2014, and his thoughts turned to other unsuccessful attempts by terrorist recruits to travel overseas. Khan’s attorney, said prosecutors will likely recommend a five-year sentence. “I think this is a deal that a young man couldn’t pass up,” said Mr. After his release from prison, Khan would remain under court supervision for at least 15 years, an unusually long period, according to his 20-page plea agreement. Khan also must seek “psychological and violent extremism counseling,” perform at least 120 hours of community service each year and allow court personnel to search his cellphone, email and computer four times a month for the first 71/2 years, according to the plea agreement.

Thomas Anthony Durkin, Khan’s lawyer, insisted only a few months ago that his client had simply been following through on a religious obligation to emigrate to an Islamic Caliphate. After the hearing, Khan walked slowly back to the courtroom lockup without turning to look at his father, Shafi, who was watching in the courtroom gallery with another relative. He was very strongly influenced by recruiters that the president even acknowledged had been brainwashing American youth.” The day Khan was arrested by the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, authorities said they found a three-page note in Khan’s bedroom for his parents.

Khan be sentenced to time already served and that prosecutors agree to let the young man begin a process of rehabilitation. “It’s a glorious vision to the immature,” Mr. He had worked all summer to raise the money for the flight and following his arrest, federal agents detained his younger siblings—ages 16 and 17—and searched the family’s home in nearby Bolingbrook, Ill. Attorney Matthew Hiller told the judge that Khan’s cooperation in the case was ongoing and asked to delay sentencing until prosecutors can assess the value of his assistance. Tharp set a status hearing for Dec. 3. “There’s only a limited amount of cooperation he can give,” Durkin said. “He didn’t get there (to the Middle East). Khan “intended to work under the direction and control of ISIL, and be required to take any assignment ISIL gave him,” according to a statement from Zachary Fardon, U.S.

After Khan’s arraignment in January, his mother, Zarine Khan, delivered a tearful but stern message accusing ISIS recruiters of “the brainwashing and recruiting of children through the use of social media and the Internet.” Durkin has repeatedly argued that Khan’s desire to join a caliphate, while perhaps misguided, amounted to an expression of his religious freedom. He has called out the U.S. government for what he says is a “wrongheaded” policy to shoehorn cases such as Khan’s into a criminal justice process that’s not designed to deal with disaffected youth. “What we have to keep our attention on is these are American kids, these are not some lunatics from Mars,” Durkin said Wednesday. “I think anybody who has ever raised children and has any common sense realizes that this could happen to anybody.”

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