A suburban Chicago teenager has been arrested on terrorism-related charges and accused of seeking to join an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in war-torn Syria, the FBI announced Saturday. Abdella Ahmad Tounisi was arrested Friday night as he attempted to board a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Turkey, which borders Syria, the FBI said. He hoped to join Jabhat al-Nusrah, a group fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in a bloody civil war. There are no links between Tounisi and the Boston Marathon bombings earlier in the week, the head of the FBI office in Chicago, Cory B. Nelson, said in a statement announcing the arrest. Tounisi, a U.S. citizen, was snared in an Internet sting after contacting a sham website set up by the FBI that purported to hook up would-be fighters with terrorists, the federal complaint says.
The 18-year-old Aurora man was surprisingly frank about his lack of fighting experience. “Concerning my fighting skills, to be honest, I do not have any,” he allegedly wrote in one email written this year, according to the complaint. “I’m very small … physically but I pray to Allah that he makes me successful.” At the top of the website were the words, “A Call for Jihad in Syria,” and the site invited interested parties to “come and join your lion brothers … who are fighting under the true banner of Islam.” Elsewhere, the site advised users on how to conceal their Internet tracks, the complaint says. Continue Reading