Two American citizens are under arrest in Illinois, charged with conspiring to help ISIS commit terror attacks. One of the suspects even said he hoped to see the ISIS flag flying “on top of the White House.”
The arrests of Illinois ISIS members come as tensions rise in the Middle East. The Trump administration has taken a hard line on ISIS in the region, launching airstrikes on the forces of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, who has allowed ISIS to flourish in his country.
While terror attacks in Europe tend to be committed by foreigners, it seems the main threat from ISIS in America is coming from our own radicalized citizens. In this case, two American citizens took on Islamic name identities as part of their radicalization.
Two Illinois men were arrested and charged Wednesday with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, according to the Department of Justice.
Joseph D. Jones, also known as Yusuf Abdulhaqq, 35, and Edward Schimenti, also known as Abdul Wali, 35, were set to make initial appearances before the U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities executed a search warrant at Jones’ residence in Zion, Ill., after the arrest. The case was investigated by Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force and local law enforcement agencies.
According to the DOJ, Jones and Schimenti, both U.S. citizens, pledged their allegiance to ISIS and posted violent, extremist content on social media in support of the Islamic State terror group. Their allegiance dates from the fall of 2015, when Jones and Schiementi befriended three individuals whom they believed were fellow ISIS supporters; two of the individuals were undercover FBI employees, and the third was working in cooperation with law enforcement and was not an ISIS supporter.
Over the next several months, Jones and Schimenti met with the undercover FBI employees and cooperating source on numerous occasions, and allegedly discussed their “devotion and commitment to ISIS,” according to the complaint.
Jones and Schimenti shared photographs of themselves holding the ISIS flag at Illinois Beach State Park in North Zion, Ill., and according to a recorded conversation with the cooperating source, Schimenti commented that he would “like to see the ISIS flag on top of the White House,” the complaint states.
“According to the complaint, last month, the pair furnished several cellular phones to the cooperating source, believing they would be used to detonate explosive devices in ISIS attacks overseas,” the DOJ statement read. “On April 7, Jones and Schimenti drove the cooperating source to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with the understanding that the source would be traveling to Syria to join and fight with ISIS.”
According to the complaint, Schimenti told the source to “drench that land with they, they blood,” after engaging in physical training exercises with the cooperating source at a gym in Zion. At that facility Schimenti commented the exercises would “make you good, you know, in the battlefield,” according to the complaint.
If convicted the men face as many as 20 years in prison.
Here is video from Fox News.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this story is that fact that we have radical Islamists in America are usually U.S. citizens with no direct connection to the Middle East. The only common factor is their embrace of Islam, and the embrace of its radical teachings.
What do you think of the Illinois ISIS members caught trying to help carry out terrorist attacks? Let us know in the comments, and in addition, share this on social media!
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