Hasan Rasheed Edmonds

The FBI arrested U.S. Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Rasheed Edmonds of Aurora, Illinois, in March 2015 for attempting to join ISIS. He was arrested while attempting to fly to Cairo from the Chicago Midway International Airport. Edmonds’s cousin, Jonas Marcel Edmonds, was simultaneously arrested at his Aurora home, and both were charged with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.“US Army National Guard Soldier and His Cousin Arrested for Conspiring to Support Terrorism (ISIL),” U.S. Department of Justice, March 26, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-army-national-guard-soldier-and-his-cousin-arrested-conspiring-support-terrorism-isil. The defendants allegedly planned for Jonas to carry out acts of violence in the United States once Hasan was abroad.“US Army National Guard Soldier and his Cousin Arrested for Conspiring to Support Terrorism (ISIL),” United States Department of Justice, March 26, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-army-national-guard-soldier-and-his-cousin-arrested-conspiring-support-terrorism-isil. Hasan pled guilty in December 2015 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on September 20, 2016.Jason Meisner, “National Guard member and cousin given long prison terms for terror plot,” Chicago Tribune, September 20, 2016, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-terror-plot-joliet-armory-met-20160920-story.html.

The FBI grew suspicious of Edmonds in 2014 and subsequently sent him a friend request on Facebook.“United States of America v. Hasan Edmonds and Jonas M. Edmonds,” U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, March 25, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/26/edmonds_complaint_0.pdf. Through Facebook, Edmonds and an undercover FBI agent began a series of conversations about joining ISIS and planning domestic attacks.“United States of America v. Hasan Edmonds and Jonas M. Edmonds,” U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, March 25, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/26/edmonds_complaint_0.pdf. According to the FBI, Edmonds used his military access and knowledge to plan an attack on a nearby military installation.“United States of America v. Hasan Edmonds and Jonas M. Edmonds,” U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, March 25, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/26/edmonds_complaint_0.pdf. He had also allegedly planned to use his military training to fight for ISIS overseas.“US Army National Guard Soldier and His Cousin Arrested for Conspiring to Support Terrorism (ISIL),” U.S. Department of Justice, March 26, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-army-national-guard-soldier-and-his-cousin-arrested-conspiring-support-terrorism-isil.

Edmonds and his cousin were arrested before an attack took place. The pair initially pled not guilty in April 2015,Jon Seidel, “Aurora men accused of plot to join ISIL plead not guilty,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 8, 2015, http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/509447/aurora-men-accused-plot-join-isil-plead-guilty. but switched to a guilty plea in December of that year.“Aurora Cousins Face Sentencing For Terror Plot on Guard Base,” CBS Chicago, September 20, 2016, http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/09/20/aurora-cousins-face-sentencing-for-terror-plot-on-guard-base/. On September 20, 2016, Edmonds was sentenced to 30 years in prison. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, received a 21-year sentence.Jason Meisner, “National Guard member and cousin given long prison terms for terror plot,” Chicago Tribune, September 20, 2016, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-terror-plot-joliet-armory-met-20160920-story.html.

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