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Teenager arrested for trying to flee US to join ISIS

Source: PTI
October 07, 2014 10:24 IST
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An American teenager has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after he allegedly tried to travel to Turkey to join the Islamic State terror group, officials said.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, a US citizen, was arrested at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on October 4 before he attempted to fly to Vienna, Austria, on his way to Turkey.

He was charged in a criminal complaint filed in US District Court with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

He appeared in the US District Court in Chicago and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday.

According to FDI, law enforcement agents observed Khan passing through the security screening checkpoint at O’Hare’s international terminal.

Federal agents then executed a search warrant at Khan's residence and recovered multiple handwritten documents that appeared to be drafted by Khan and/or others, which expressed support for ISIL, the affidavit alleges.

Some of those documents, including travel plans and materials referencing ISIL and jihad, are described in the complaint affidavit.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, Khan wrote to his parents before leaving for the Chicago airport he was leaving the United States and on the way to join ISIS.

In a three-page letter, he invited his family to join him, but warned them not to tell anyone about his travel plans.

His parents refused to comment, The Chicago Tribune said.

"As Khan was being led from the courtroom by deputy marshals, his father put his arm around Khan's weeping mother and sought to calm her," the daily said.

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