Aurora Cousins Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago today imposed prison sentences of 30 years and 21 years for Aurora cousins who conspired to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee sentenced HASAN R. EDMONDS to 30 years, and JONAS M. EDMONDS to 21 years. The defendants are United States citizens and cousins from southwest suburban Aurora.
The sentencings were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States 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 Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government was represented by Assistant 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.
The cases were investigated by the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, which 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. Significant assistance was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, 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 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, while 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.
The cousins admitted in their plea agreements that they devised a plan for Jonas Edmonds to carry out an armed attack at the U.S. Army National Guard base in Joliet. At the time the attack was planned, Hasan Edmonds was a member of the 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 Task Force arrested the cousins in March 2015 before an attack could be carried out.
“Had law enforcement not interceded, defendant’s attack could potentially have rivaled other ISIL-inspired attacks in Paris and California,” Mr. 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.