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A southwest suburban Bolingbrook man who was arrested in October, was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly attempting to travel overseas to join a foreign terrorist organization operating inside Iraq and Syria, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The defendant, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, a U.S. citizen, was charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a single-count indictment returned late yesterday.
The indictment was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Zachary T. Fardon and Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert J. Holley. The investigation is continuing, they said.
A date for Khan to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Chicago has not yet been determined. Khan has been detained in federal custody since he was arrested on Oct. 4, 2014, at O’Hare International Airport by members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force before he attempted to fly to Vienna, Austria, on his way to Istanbul, Turkey.
Khan was initially charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and the indictment formalizes that same charge. According to the indictment, between February and Oct. 4, 2014, Khan attempted to provide material support and resources, specifically, personnel, to ISIL.
Attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The Chicago JTTF is comprised of Special Agents of the FBI, officers of the Chicago Police Department, and representatives from an additional 20 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Illinois State Police also provided significant assistance in the investigation.
The government is being represented by Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Hiller, Angel Krull, and Sean Driscoll.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.