Posted Apr 22, 2013 11:39 am CDT
Federal authorities have arrested a Chicago-area teenager who they maintain was on his way to Syria to join a jihadist militant group.
The FBI arrested Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, at O’Hare Airport last Friday while he was attempting to board a flight bound for Istanbul, Turkey, according to stories in the Chicago Tribune and by CBS Chicago.
Tounisi, who is a U.S. citizen and resides in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, is being charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The news organizations note that Tounisi’s arrest is unrelated to the bombing investigation in Boston.
Citing a news release by the FBI, the Chicago Tribune and CBS report that authorities have been investigating Tounisi since 2012. He is alleged to be a close friend of Adel Daoud, who was arrested in September 2012 on charges he attempted to detonate a bomb outside a Chicago bar.
Tounisi was caught in an Internet sting in which the FBI created a sham website purporting to connect would-be fighters with terrorists, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities maintain Tounisi was researching Jabhat al-Nusrah, or Nursa Front, a group designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization and an alias for al-Qaida in Iraq.