TounisiAn 18 year-old from Chicago has been arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, reportedly to fly to the Middle East to join a Syrian Islamist group with links to Al-Qaeda.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, had thought he was making contact with a recruiter for Jabhat al-Nusrah online. In fact, website was false and the recruiter was an undercover FBI agent. At the top of teh website were the words: “A Call for Jihad in Syria”.

Nevertheless, Tounisi exchanged emails with the agent and planned to fly from Chicago to Istanbul. He would then make his way to the Syrian border by bus, using a bus ticket given to him by the agent. It would take him from Istanbul to the town of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. There, he would join a ‘jihadist militant group’, which he believed to be Jabhat al-Nusrah. The group is currently fighting against President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Tounisi has appeared before a magistrate charged with providing material support and resources to a terrorist organisation. It has been reported that his internet search history contained the searches: “martyrdom operations”, “terrorism act 2000” and “providing material support what does it mean”.

Tousini was also a friend of Adel Daoud, another American accused of plotting to blow up a bar in central Chicago last year, though authorities have no reason to believe Tousini was involved in that plot. There is also no reason to suspect he may be involved in the Boston marathon bombings.

Tousini is now being held without bail until his next court appearance on Tuesday, where could face 15 years imprisonment if found guilty.

BY: Matthew Jones

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