CHICAGO (STMW) — An Aurora man pleaded guilty Monday morning for his role in a terror plot that involved joining the Islamic State in the Middle East while his cousin attacked a National Guard base in Joliet.
Hasan Edmonds appeared in U.S. District Court and admitted conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, also known as ISIL. At his sentencing March 18, he faces a sentence of up to 30 years.
Edmonds had planned to fly to Egypt, hoping eventually to join ISIS, but was arrested at the airport. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and lying to the feds about international terrorism. His sentencing is set for Jan. 27, and he faces as many as 23 years in prison.
Jonas Edmonds admitted he planned to disguise himself in Hasan Edmonds’ Illinois National Guard uniform and attack the Guard base in Joliet where Hasan Edmonds had trained. He had hoped to kill as many as 120 soldiers, prosecutors have said. The feds say Jonas Edmonds collected his cousin’s uniforms after dropping his cousin off at Midway Airport to catch a flight to Egypt.
Hasan Edmonds was arrested at the airport March 25 as he tried to catch that flight. Records show he was carrying a black backpack filled with all-weather and camouflage notepads, a camera, a Quran and two books: “Fortress of the Muslim” and “The Covenant of the Flame.”
When authorities searched Jonas Edmonds’ townhouse, they found an Illinois National Guard drill schedule, as well as an “army jacket,” “army shorts” and “military brown boots,” records show. Jonas Edmonds was arrested without incident around the same time as his cousin.
A criminal complaint suggests undercover feds kept close tabs on the cousins online at every step in their alleged plot. But Hasan Edmonds’ military training and access to military facilities seemed to elevate the seriousness of their case above others who have faced terrorism charges in Chicago.
The Edmondses even visited the National Guard base with an undercover fed the day before their arrest and discussed where the soldiers trained, records show.
That’s when Hasan Edmonds allegedly entered the base and retrieved a military training schedule, which he gave to his cousin, the feds say.
Hasan Edmonds, a member of the 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, plotted for his cousin to “put the fear of Allah in their hearts and minds right here in the homeland,” records show.
Jonas Edmonds asked an FBI undercover employee “to assist in the attack, and explained that they would use Hasan Edmonds’ uniforms and the information he supplied about how to access the installation and target officers for attack,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Hasan Edmonds told his cousin to “kill the head,” prosecutors said.
Authorities became suspicious of Hasan Edmonds late in 2014, when the FBI learned he and his cousin had devised a plan for Hasan Edmonds to travel overseas and use his military training to fight for the Islamic State.