Illinois man pleads guilty in plot to attack military base

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 1:06 PM

By Mary Wisniewski and Suzannah Gonzales

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to plotting with his cousin, a National Guard member, to attack an Illinois military installation as part of a conspiracy to support Islamic State, a U.S. prosecutor's spokesman said.

Jonas Edmonds was charged along with his cousin, Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, of planning to carry out an armed attack on the military facility where Hasan Edmonds had been training in Joliet, 34 miles (55 km) southwest of downtown Chicago.

Jonas Edmonds pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and making a false statement to law enforcement on an offense related to terrorism, said Joseph Fitzpatrick, U.S. attorney's office spokesman.

He faces up to 23 years in prison, Fitzpatrick said. Sentencing is scheduled on Jan. 27. Hasan Edmonds is expected to plead guilty on Monday, Fitzpatrick said.

Jonas Edmonds has been detained in federal custody since his March 25 arrest, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hasan Edmonds was arrested at Chicago's Midway airport on March 25 as he tried to fly to Egypt. The plan was for Hasan to leave the United States and join Islamic State fighters while Jonas carried out the attack, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.

The cousins were arrested after discussing their plans with an undercover employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As a member of the Illinois National Guard since 2011, Hasan Edmonds reported to the Joliet base one weekend a month and performed two weeks of active duty training per year. He lived in Aurora, about 41 miles (66 km) southwest of Chicago.

(Editing by Tom Brown, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)