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Press Release

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Bolingbrook, Illinois, man pleaded guilty today to a federal charge that he attempted to travel overseas to join a designated foreign terrorist organization in Syria.

The guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s Chicago Division.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, identified in a written plea agreement as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Khan, a U.S. citizen from southwest suburban Bolingbrook, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.  U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois did not immediately schedule a sentencing hearing.  A status hearing was set for Dec. 3, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

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 Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

According to his plea agreement, beginning no later than approximately February 2014, Khan used the Internet to obtain introductions to ISIL members in Syria and to assist him with traveling there to join the terrorist group.  Khan spoke with ISIL members to coordinate the logistics of his admission into ISIL-controlled territory, the plea agreement states.

Khan also admitted in the plea agreement that he knew ISIL had been designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization.  Upon arriving in Syria, according to the plea agreement, Khan intended to work under the direction and control of ISIL, and be required to take any assignment ISIL gave him.

The case was investigated the FBI and the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and the Illinois State Police also provided significant assistance in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Hiller, Angel Krull and Sean Driscoll of the Northern District of Illinois, and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan Plea Agreement

Updated November 14, 2016

National Security
Press Release Number: 15-1338