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Aurora Teen To Enter Plea On Terrorism Charge

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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 (AP) – A suburban Chicago teenager is expected to plead not guilty to a charge he sought to join an al-Qaida-linked group fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.

An arraignment for Abdella Ahmad Tounisi is scheduled for Wednesday at federal court in Chicago.

The FBI says it snared the 18-year-old in an online sting. Authorities arrested him last month at O’Hare International Airport as he allegedly prepared for the first leg of a trip to join Jabhat al-Nusrah.

Early this month, one federal judge agreed to release the Aurora teen to home confinement pending trial. But another judge reversed that ruling, saying Tounisi posed a threat to the community.

He’s charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces a maximum 15-year prison term.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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