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US citizen arrested in Chicago for attempting to join ISIS

Washington, Oct 7 (IANS) An US citizen has been arrested at Chicago airport for attempting to travel overseas to join the Islamic State (IS), the US Justice Department said in a statement Monday.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, was taken into custody Saturday at the O’Hare International Airport by the Chicago Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, while he was attempting to fly to Vienna, Austria, on his way to Istanbul, Turkey, Xinhua reported citing the justice department statement.

A round-trip ticket was purchased for Khan Sep 26 to travel from Chicago to Istanbul, departing Saturday, and returning later this week, the statement said.

Khan was interviewed by FBI agents at the airport after his arrest. Federal agents then searched Khan’s residence and recovered multiple handwritten documents that appeared to be drafted by Khan or others, which expressed support for the IS.

Some of those documents included Khan’s travel plans and materials referencing the IS and jihad.

Khan, charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, appeared Monday morning in a US district court and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing Thursday.

Attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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