Illinois man pleads guilty to trying to join Islamic State

October 29, 2015 21:19

CHICAGO - A 20-year-old Chicago-area man pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal charge of trying to provide support to Islamic State fighters in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to seek a prison sentence of no more than five years.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan told US District Judge John Tharp that he had intended to travel to Syria to work for Islamic State, including taking a possible combat role, and acknowledged that he knew the US government considers the group a terrorist organization.

Khan was 19 when he was arrested in October 2014 at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to travel to the Middle East with his siblings, then 17 and 16 years old.

Khan's lawyer, Thomas Durkin, said he would seek a sentence of fewer than five years at the time of sentencing early next year.

Durkin said Khan was brainwashed by slick online propaganda and that while he understands why his client decided to plead guilty, he remains skeptical that prosecution is the answer to the wider problem.

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