Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

2 suburban Chicago men arrested on terrorism charges

2 suburban Chicago men arrested on terrorism charges

Two Illinois men were arrested Wednesday for conspiring and attempting to support the Islamic State (ISIS).

Jones and Schimenti were arrested this morning.

Jones (who is also known as Yusuf Abdulhaqq) and Schimenti are scheduled to appear before a federal judge at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, authorities executed a search warrant at Jones' residence in Zion.

Joseph Jones and Edward Schimenti, both 35, allegedly conspired to support ISIS.

A statement from the US attorney's office in Chicago said Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti were arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiring to provide and attempt to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Investigators say that Jones and Schimenti believed all three associates were ISIS backers.

Jones, who went by "Yusuf Abdulhaqq", and Schimenti, who went by "Abdul Wali", allegedly met two undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and the informant in the fall of 2015.

Over the next several months, as part of the conspiracy, Jones and Schimenti allegedly took steps to assist the cooperating source with plans to travel overseas to join ISIS. Under his own name, he posted a series of endorsements of terrorist groups, including ISIS and Boko Haram, prosecutors say. Among the pictures in the complaint are ones apparently taken at the Illinois Beach State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Zion.

An FBI agent first approached Jones by pretending to be someone who was also detained by the police in Zion, though it was not immediately clear why Jones was in custody, beginning a relationship where they shared ISIS videos, according to the complaint. "Abdul Wali" Schimenti, is heard on Federal Bureau of Investigation undercover tape saying he would like to see the ISIS flag "on top of the White House" according to investigators.

In early 2017, authorities said Schimenti began engaging in physical training exercises with the cooperating source at a gym in Zion, believing that the source meant to travel overseas to fight for ISIS.

Understanding that the cooperating source meant to travel overseas to fight for ISIS, Schimenti commented that the exercises would "make you good, you know, on the battlefield", according to the complaint.

Prosecutors said that the pair also helped that informant get phones which they believed would go to make bombs in the Middle East, with Jones allegedly saying he hoped to kill as many non-believers as possible.

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