A US Army National Guard solider and his cousin have been arrested for attempting to join ISIS and planning a ‘Charlie Hebdo’ style terrorist attack on home soil.
Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, a U.S. citizen and member of the Illinois National Guard, was arrested on Wednesday at Chicago Midway International Airport by members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) while trying to fly to Cairo, Egypt, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, who is also a U.S. citizen, was arrested without incident at his home in Aurora, Illinois, on the same day.
The pair have posed for pictures together on Facebook, while Hasan has uploaded images of his tattoos.
The statement added: ‘Both defendants were charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois with one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.’
In late 2014, Hasan came to the attention of the FBI. The investigation subsequently revealed that he and Jonas had allegedly devised a plan for Hasan to wage violence on behalf of ISIL.
Hasan, a current member of the Illinois Army National Guard, planned to use his military training to fight.
As part of their plans, Hasan booked an airline ticket to travel on Wednesday from Chicago and arrive in Cairo on Thursday, with layovers in Detroit and Amsterdam.
According to the criminal complaint, both defendants also planned for Jonas to carry out an act of terrorism in the United States after Hasan had left.
The pair allegedly met with an FBI undercover employee and presented a plan to carry out an armed attack against a U.S. military facility in northern Illinois, an installation where Hasan had been training.
The agent had reached out to Hasan and added him on Facebook.
Jonas asked the FBI undercover employee to assist in the attack and explained that they would use Hasan’s uniforms and the information he supplied about how to access the installation and target officers for attack.
According to the documents he saw a body count of between 100 and 150. Hasan said it would be closer to 120.
The FBI complaint added that the pair said: ‘Honestly we would love to do something like the brothers in Paris did’ – referring to the attack on the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Jonas already was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and served five years in a Georgia prison between 2005 and 2010.
Hasan Edmonds allegedly wrote “I am already in the american kafir army (back when I was still in this dunyah and not muslim) and now I wish only to serve in the army of Allah alongside my true brothers.” Kafir means infidel and dunyah means “of this world,” according to the feds.
“I joined the united states army national guard about 3 years ago. I still currently have 3 years left that I have no intention what so ever of fulfilling.”
In another Facebook chat he wrote, “I am no expert with our weapons but I can get the job done.”
“I pray to just one time step foot in the land ruled by the Law of the Quran but I am content to fight and die here in the cause of Allah whenever the target is set and the order is given. InshaAllah my brothers will march with me as well.”
The feds say Hasan Edmonds wrote that his cousin, who has served time in a Georgia prison, would “put the fear of Allah in their hearts and minds right here in the homeland.”
“I can own handguns shotguns and rifles but no automatic weapons or heavy machine guns,” he allegedly wrote in another online chat. “We have plenty people here who have them and hide them so we will do the same.”
“It would be hard to pull off a lager scale attack on the government but police stations and courts are pretty easy and it’s been done before by kufar sometimes just one person.”
He allegedly hoped that the attack in Illinois would have a similar effect to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris earlier this year. “Honestly we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” he wrote in one message, the feds say.
And on Tuesday, both cousins met with the undercover agent and traveled to Hasan Edmonds’ National Guard base. “When they arrived, the three discussed, among other things, where soldiers at the installation trained,” the complaint states.
“Also during this meeting, Hasan Edmonds described the inside of the installation and which rooms they should avoid during the attack. Hasan Edmonds also entered the installation and retrieved a military training schedule, which he then gave to Jonas Edmonds.”
Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, the public affairs director of the Illinois National Guard, said that Hasan Edmonds reported to the guard’s Joliet base one weekend a month and that he did two weeks of active-duty training, typically in the summer.
He enlisted in August 2011 and had never deployed, but worked as a supply specialist that was part of a logistics unit that provides supplies and other services to the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Leighton said. He added that Edmonds had last reported for duty earlier this month, but said that the guard’s focus was on “ensuring the safety of our soldiers, airmen and their families.”
If you have time, read through the Criminal Complaint.
Almost a year ago to the day: California: National Guard Reservist Arrested In Los Angeles Subway Jihad Plot
And surprising we haven’t seen more of this as Minnesota National Guard trying to recruit Somali Muslims.
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