A soldier in the U.S. Army National Guard pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that he conspired with his cousin to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in the Middle East.
Hasan R. Edmonds, 23, of Aurora, IL, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to ISIL, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIL.
The charge was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s Chicago Division and follows last week’s guilty plea by Hasan’s cousin, Jonas.
“Hasan and Jonas Edmonds conspired to provide material support to ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “They admitted planning to wage violence on behalf of ISIL in the Middle East and to conduct an attack on our soil. Thanks to the efforts of many prosecutors, agents and analysts, we were able to ensure these plotters did not attain their violent endgames, and with these guilty pleas, they will be held accountable. Counterterrorism remains the department’s highest priority, and we will continue use all available tools to combat ISIL, a foreign terrorist organization that rapes, murders and enslaves Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
“The top priority of federal law enforcement is to protect the safety of our citizens, both here and abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Fardon. “We will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who align themselves with ISIL and its mission of brutal violence.”
According to the plea agreement, Hasan Edmonds and his cousin, Jonas M. Edmonds, devised a plan for Hasan Edmonds to travel to the Middle East for the purpose of waging violence on behalf of ISIL. Hasan Edmonds admitted that on March 25, 2015, Jonas Edmonds drove Hasan Edmonds to Midway International Airport in Chicago so that he could board a flight to the Middle East. According to the plea agreement, after dropping off Hasan Edmonds, Jonas Edmonds went to Hasan Edmonds’ residence and retrieved several of Hasan Edmonds’ National Guard uniforms, which Jonas Edmonds planned to wear as a disguise during a planned attack at the National Guard base in Joliet, Illinois.
Hasan Edmonds is a member of the Army National Guard and had trained at the Joliet installation.
Law enforcement agents on the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Hasan Edmonds at Midway Airport before he could board his flight. Shortly thereafter the agents arrested Jonas Edmonds at his home. The cousins are citizens of the United States.
The charges against Hasan Edmonds carry a combined maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and $500,000 fine. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of the Northern District of Illinois scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 18, 2016.
Jonas Edmonds, 30, of Aurora, pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and one count of making a materially false statement to a law enforcement officer regarding an offense involving international terrorism. He faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee on Jan. 27, 2016, at 2:00 p.m.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Illinois State Police, the Aurora Police Department and the Illinois National Guard provided significant assistance in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and John Kness of the Northern District of Illinois; and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
SOURCE: United States Department of Justice news release