- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

The FBI has arrested an Army National Guard soldier in connection with a plot to attack soldiers at a U.S. military facility in northern Illinois on behalf of the Islamic State to show that the infidels “will suffer at the hands of the lions of Allah.”

Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 22-year-old Hasan Edmonds at the city’s Midway Airport on Wednesday, just as he was preparing to fly to Cairo.

FBI agents also arrested 29-year-old Jonas Edmonds at his home in Aurora, Illinois, in connection with the terror plot, according to a Bureau statement released Thursday. Court documents indicate that Hasan and Jonas Edmonds were cousins and both U.S. citizens.

The FBI is accusing the duo of devising a two-pronged plan that would let Hasan Edmonds travel overseas and use his military training to fight on behalf of the Islamic State while Jonas Edmonds carried out an attack at the military installation.

Jonas Edmonds was supposed to don his cousin’s Army National Guard uniform, slip onto the military installation where he had been training, “and target officers for attack,” according to the statement.

The FBI learned of the attack after the duo presented their attack plan to an “undercover employee” in an effort to solicit that person’s assistance.

The Army National Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The men had their first court appearance Thursday, in federal court in Chicago before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan.

Court documents show that Hasan Edmonds has been a member of the Army National Guard for three years.

Those documents also show that he occasionally contacted the undercover employee through Facebook and his personal email account to discuss his devotion to the Islamic State. In January, Hasan Edmonds indicated to that employee that he was planning on taking a trip.

“Say akhi you speak arabic? I’m trying to get my affairs in order and get my funds up for the plung, thought it was smart to plug in with my brothers while I prepair,” he wrote in the badly-spelled message, later clarifying: “And I mean plunge. It means to dive/jump in eagerly. I want to make sure my affairs here are set before leaving to give my all for this deen,” using the Arabic word for “faith.”

“From the understanding I was taught this is the proper way. Otherwise I would have just left months ago,” he wrote.

On one occasion, according to prosecutors, he spoke admiringly of the Islamist terrorists who killed 12 people in the course of an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which regularly blasphemed Islam (and other religions).

“Honestly, we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” he wrote.

Hasan Edmunds said he knew the path he had chosen would not be easy. Still he would rather struggle and strive hard rather than “sit back and live a ‘comfortable’ life.”

“The State has been established and it is our duty to heed the call,” he said in one message.

To strike fear into the hearts of Americans “and break their will,” the National Guard soldier plotted to have his fellow soldiers slaughtered.

“If we can break their spirits we will win,” he said in one message. “Whenever we attack them instead of killing them all try to take as few prisoners for either ransom or to show the world the kufar army will suffer at the hands of the lions of Allah.”

Both men face charges of “conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization” in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, according to the FBI statement.

The Edmonds arrests come one week after U.S. Air Force veteran Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, was arrested on charges of trying to join the Islamic State group.

“Born and raised in the United States, Pugh allegedly turned his back on his country and attempted to travel to Syria in order to join a terrorist organization,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement released March 17. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute extremists, whether based here or abroad, to stop them before they are able to threaten the United States and its allies.”

• Douglas Ernst contributed to this report.


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