Chicago National Guardsman to appear in court in plot case

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2015 1:31 PM

By Fiona Ortiz

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A National Guardsman charged with plotting an attack on an Illinois military installation as part of a conspiracy to support Islamic State was due to appear in federal court on Monday for a hearing on whether he should remain in jail pending trial.

Chicago-area resident Hasan Edmonds, a 22-year-old Army National Guard Specialist, was arrested on Wednesday on federal charges.

Federal prosecutors said Edmonds planned to carry out an armed attack on the military facility where he had been training in Joliet, 34 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, with the help of his 29-year-old cousin Jonas Edmonds, who was also arrested and charged.

The plan was for Hasan Edmonds to leave the United States and join Islamic State fighters - he was arrested at Chicago's Midway airport as he tried to fly to Egypt - while Jonas Edmonds carried out the attack, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.

The cousins were arrested after discussing their plans with an undercover FBI employee.

Hasan Edmonds will appear before Federal Judge Sheila Finnegan, of the U.S. District Court for northern Illinois, on Monday. A preliminary hearing, where the prosecution will have to present its evidence against him, is set for April 6.

As a member of the Illinois National Guard since 2011, Hasan Edmonds reported to the guard's Joliet base one weekend a month and annually did two weeks of active duty training.

The cousins face maximum penalties of 15 years in prison and fines of $250,000 if convicted.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Lisa Lambert)