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Aurora Terror Suspect To Remain In Custody

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Ahmad Tounisi, 18, allegedly wanted to go to Syria to join a terrorist group. (Family handout)

Ahmad Tounisi, 18, allegedly wanted to go to Syria to join a terrorist group. (Family handout)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — An Aurora man accused of trying to join an overseas terror group will remain in federal custody after all.

On Thursday, in a rare move for a terror case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin agreed to release Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, to home confinement, on $50,000 unsecured bond.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports federal prosecutors challenged the judge’s ruling on Friday and prevailed before U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang, who agreed with prosecutors that Tounisi posed a danger and was a flight risk.

Chang ordered Tounisi be kept in federal custody pending trial on charges of attempting to provide material support to terrorism.

Tounisi was arrested by the FBI last month as he tried to board an international flight at O’Hare Airport, accused of trying to travel to Syria to join a militant jihad group. He had been communicating with recruiter online who was really an undercover agent, federal authorities say.

In seeking to have Tounisi placed on home confinement and electronic monitoring, his attorney said the family and community would oversee Tounisi’s behavior, but Chang called Tounisi a planner who secured an alternate passport when his own family confiscated his first.

Chang also opined Tounisi bought a round trip to Turkey just to avoid suspicion that would be cast by his purchase of a one way ticket.

He termed Tounisi a flight risk and possible danger the community as he ordered him to remain in custody.

Federal prosecutors said Tounisi was about to link up with terrorists and that he had wanted to blow up a nightclub in Naperville.

He had been under federal scrutiny because he was a friend of Adel Daoud, a west suburban man charged with trying to blow up a downtown Chicago bar last year.

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