FBI thwarts ISIS terror plot at US military base

Two cousins, both US citizens, were arrested for attempting to assist in a ISIS terror attack. 

US security forces arrested an Illinois Army National Guardsman after he attempted to travel to Libya to fight with the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. They also arrested the soldier’s cousin, whom authorities say was plotting to attack a US military installation.

Hasan Rashid Edmonds, 22, vowed to bring “the flames of war to the heart” of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join ISIS, and his cousin bragged that he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the US, the prosecutors said.

Hasan, a soldier, was arrested Wednesday evening at Chicago Midway International Airport while trying to board a plane on the first leg of a journey to Egypt. Jonas M. Edmonds, 29, his cousin, was arrested a few hours later at home, the US attorney’s office in Chicago said. Both are US citizens from suburban Aurora.

According to the federal charges, the plan was for Jonas to carry out an attack in the US after Hasan had left the country, while donning Hasan’s uniform to gain better access to soldiers. The criminal complaint says they plotted an armed attack against a US military facility in northern Illinois, where Hasan had trained. The complaint did not name the targeted facility.

In internet messages to an undercover FBI agent in January, Hasan said that if he was unable to make it to the Middle East, he would help bring “the flames of war to the heart” of America and “cause as much damage and mayhem as possible,” the complaint says.

On Tuesday, the cousins drove to a military installation with an undercover agent to discuss an attack. Hasan described the rooms inside, discussing which would be the best targets.

“I wish to go to Dawlah,” he said, referring to the Islamic State. He later told the undercover agent he was required to support ISIS. “The State has been established and it is our duty to heed the call,” he continued. “Inshallah [God willing] we will complete our task or be granted shahada (martyrdom).”

In other messages, Hasan said his knowledge of the US military and American psychology would prove helpful in terrorizing US citizens. “If we can break their spirits, we will win,” he said, according to the complaint.

He allegedly spoke admiringly of the terrorist attack in Paris at Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters in January. “Honestly, we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” he wrote.

Both men face a count of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State. The conspiracy includes terrorist plots on American soil. A conviction carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

The accused men made an initial court appearance in Chicago on Thursday. Jonas kept swiveling in his chair, stroking his beard and, at one point, he yawned loudly, reports say. Hasan sat still.

Hasan’s sister, Manchinique Bates, 23, told the Chicago Sun-Times, “They aren’t terrorists. … Just because they choose to worship as Muslims does not make them terrorists.”

Jonas allegedly communicated to an undercover agent that it could be difficult for him to get travel documents, in which case he would stage attacks in the US, using AK-47 rifles or whatever he could get his hands on to kill up to 150 people, prosecutors charge.

“I can unleash a lion,” he reportedly said. “What I would need … honestly nothing. I am prepared to go even if it’s with a rock.”

Growing ISIS Threat in US

Earlier in March, the FBI arrested three ISIS terrorists in Brooklyn, New York. They were preparing attacks in the US as an alternative if unsuccessful in joining ISIS in Syria.

Loretta Lynch, Obama’s candidate for US attorney general, said, “The flow of foreign fighters to Syria represents an evolving threat to our country and to our allies.”

In February, the FBI arrested Abdirahman S. Mohamud in Ohio for conspiring to provide material aid to terrorists in the Middle East. The authorities did not disclose which group he supported.

A couple of weeks earlier, the Justice Department arrested five Bosnian terror suspects for holding ties to ISIS and to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. A sixth suspect who was indicted had already left the country.

In January, Islamic State supporter Christopher Lee Cornell was arrested in Ohio on charges of planning an attack on Capitol Hill. The authorities found two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition in preparation for the assault.

Altogether, at least 10 Islamist terror suspects in America have been arrested this year, and all but one had links to ISIS.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff