A National Guardsman who was arrested trying to fly from Chicago to Egypt to join the Islamic State also helped plan with his cousin an attack on a military facility in Illinois, federal investigators said.
According to CBS Chicago, Army National Guard Spc. Hasan Edmonds was arrested along with his cousin Jonas Edmonds on Wednesday.
Hasan Edmondsm 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport while trying to catch a flight to Cairo, CBS reported. Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home in Aurora.
According to CBS, Hasan Edmonds was contacted on Facebook by an undercover FBI agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He had announced on Facebook he planned to use his Guard training to fight for the Islamic State, while Jonas Edmonds would use Guard uniforms and information Hasan Edmonds had learned at the training facility to plan the attack on U.S. soil.
The network quoted a Facebook posting by Hasan Edmonds describing his plans:
“The State has been established and it is our duty to heed the call,” he allegedly wrote. “I look forward to the training. I am already in the american kafir [infidel] army …and now I wish only to serve in the army of Allah alongside my true brothers.”
The attack on the Illinois facility was to take place after Hasan Edmonds left for Cairo, but no timetable was released publicly.
Both Edmonds are American citizens, CBS reported.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Hasan Edmonds’ sister denied the two men were involved in terrorism.
Hasan Edmonds’ sister, Manchinique Bates, stood on the front step of a family home in Aurora Thursday and denied the men wanted to join ISIL.
“They aren’t terrorists,” Manchinique Bates told the paper. “They don’t come off as terrorists. Just because they choose to worship as Muslims does not make them terrorists.”
In a Justice Department statement, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said the men’s military ties were troubling.
“Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack,” he said. “I want to thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for disrupting the threat posed by these defendants.”
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