(CBS) – This week’s arrests of two Chicago-area suspects with potential links to the Islamic State shouldn’t be seen as a major strike against the extremist group, a terrorism authority says.
Tom Mockaitis of DePaul University says federal charges against cousins Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds does not indicate the pair had hatched a sophisticated operation. Further, he said, there was little likelihood of success.READ MORE: Architect Helmut Jahn Killed In Bicycle Crash With Two Vehicles in Campton Hills
“These are people who have not thought this through well. They were relatively easy to catch,” Mockaitis tells CBS 2’s Dave Savini. “There is a threat, but people should not be alarmed.”
Hasan Edmonds, a 22-year-old National Guard member, was arrested at Midway International Airport while trying to fly to Cairo, Egypt and join ISIS. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was allegedly plotting to attack a Joliet military facility.READ MORE: Chicago Police Ask For Help Solving Hit-And-Run That Left 13-Year-Old Seriously Injured
The arrests demonstrate federal authorities have effective intelligence, Mockaitis says.
Mockaitis says it looks as if one of the cousins may have radicalized the other one.
Both suspects appeared in federal court Thursday.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rainy, Cold Mother's Day