CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago imposed federal prison sentences Tuesday of 30 years and 21 years for two Chicago-area cousins who conspired to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in the Middle East.
U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee sentenced Hasan R. Edmonds to 30 years, and Jonas M. Edmonds to 21 years in federal prison. The defendants are U.S. citizens and cousins from southwest suburban Aurora, Illinois.
These sentences were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Michael J. Anderson, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Chicago division. These cases were investigated by the FBI Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The following agencies provided significant assistance to this investigation: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Illinois State Police, the Aurora Police Department, and the Illinois National Guard.
The pair pleaded guilty in December 2015 to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a designated foreign terrorist organization commonly referred to as ISIL, ISIS or the Islamic State. Hasan Edmonds, 24, also pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Jonas Edmonds, 31, pleaded guilty to an additional count of making a materially false statement to a law enforcement officer regarding an offense of international terrorism.
Both cousins admitted in their plea agreements that they devised a plan for Jonas Edmonds to carry out an armed attack at the National Guard base in Joliet, Illinois. At the time the attack was planned, Hasan Edmonds was a member of the U.S. Army National Guard and had been training at the Joliet installation. The plot called for Hasan Edmonds to provide military uniforms for Jonas Edmonds to wear during the attack, and to give Jonas Edmonds a list of officers to kill.
Members of the JTTF arrested the cousins in March 2015 before an attack could be carried out.
The government was represented by Asistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and John Kness of the Northern District of Illinois, and Trial Attorney Lolita Lukose of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
“Had law enforcement not interceded, defendant’s attack could potentially have rivaled other ISIL-inspired attacks in Paris and California,” Jonas argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum in Jonas Edmonds’ case. “The impact of the attack — on National Guard members, their families, and this nation’s psyche — would have been devastating.”
In addition to the proposed attack on the National Guard base, the conspiracy also called for Hasan Edmonds to travel to the Middle East for the purpose of waging violence on behalf of ISIL. Jonas Edmonds expressed his support and excitement for Hasan Edmonds’ travel, believing that anyone who supported a mujahid (a fighter) was a mujahid himself, according to Jonas Edmonds’ plea agreement.