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The Department of Justice announced the arrest of two Illinois men, Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti, who allegedly pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and advocated their support for violent extremism on social media.
Jones, also known as "Yusuf Abdulhaqq," and Schimenti, also known as "Abdul Wali," were charged with conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, which has been designated as a terrorist organization. And their support allegedly went beyond just watching some videos and posting photos online.
According to the criminal complaint, Jones and Schimenti befriended three individuals they believed were fellow ISIS devotees in 2015. As it turns out, two of the individuals were undercover FBI agents and the third was cooperating with law enforcement in their sting operation. Jones and Schimenti discussed their devotion and commitment to ISIS with their newfound friends, according to the DOJ, and even "shared photographs of themselves holding the ISIS flag at the Illinois Beach State Park in north suburban Zion." Schimenti allegedly said he wanted to see the ISIS flag "on top of the White House."
Providing Material Support
Perhaps the most damning of the allegations, however, accuse Jones and Schimenti of procuring cell phones for use in explosive devices and aiding what they believed to be their friend's trip to join ISIS in Syria:
According to the complaint, last month, the pair furnished several cellular phones to the cooperating source, believing they would be used to detonate explosive devices in ISIS attacks overseas. On April 7, Jones and Schimenti drove the cooperating source to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago with the understanding that the source would be traveling to Syria to join and fight with ISIS. Schimenti told the source to "drench that land with they, they blood."
The pair are now facing at least 20 years in prison, if convicted.