Two men arrested after plotting attack on military base in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - An attack on an Illinois military base has been avoided. Two men from Aurora are behind bars after revealing those plans to an undercover FBI agent. One of the suspects is in the Illinois National Guard. His name is Hasan Edmonds and he was arrested Wednesday night, at Chicago's Midway International Airport. He's 22 years old. As spokesman for the Illinois National Guard led a news conference on the matter, Thursday afternoon.
"We don't see this as a reflection on the Illinois National Guard at all," said Lt. Col. Brad Leighton.
Federal authorities say the FBI began investigating Edmonds months ago, after discovering that he and his cousin were planning to travel overseas to fight for ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
"Upon learning of the arrest, we immediately placed what we call a 'flag' on his file, which would prevent any favorable actions from taking place. In addition, his security clearance was immediately revoked," said Leighton.
Hasan's cousin, Jonas Edmonds, who isn't in the military, was also arrested. According to the Justice Department, both cousins told an undercover FBI employee their plan for an armed attack on an undisclosed U.S. military facility in northern Illinois.
"We took deliberate, but discreet, actions to ensure that this individual did not have access to any material or information that could do damage to our soldiers or their families," said Leighton.
Both made their first appearance in Federal court, Thursday afternoon. Both cousins were charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Jonas has had legal problems in the past. Federal authorities say he spent time in prison for a felony conviction.