A teenager from Aurora who’s accused of trying to flee the country to join a terrorist group appeared in court today where the judge allowed him to bond out until trial.
Judge Daniel Martin has given prosecutors 24 hours to appeal his decision and late this afternoon the U.S. Attorney’s office announced it will be back in court tomorrow to do just that.
Earlier today, he defendant, small in stature, but large in presence, stood dressed in his orange prison garb, shackled at his wrists and ankles. 18-year-old Abdella Tounisi appeared as a kid among the adults in the courtroom and faces some very serious federal charges. Today, the teen, a U.S. citizen, is accused of trying to board a plane bound for Turkey so he could join a terrorist group in Syria. He was stopped by the FBI who had previously interviewed him, tracked him and his search habits on-line, then later arrested him.
Prosecutors called Tounisi a flight risk. They even suggested he previously helped another alleged terrorism suspect , Adel Daoud, select bomb targets in Chicago. Another plan was reportedly foiled by the FBI.
Tounisi’s attorney countered the argument by telling the court, “The word terrorism tends to taint everything it touches. It’s a powerful word.”
The judge called this a close case and ordered Tounisi to home confinement telling the defendant, “You have an entire room filled with community here. People who are concerned about you. You have an entire FBI wing who is worried about what you could do here and in Syria. You are hanging by a thread in this courtroom.”
Members of Tounisi’s community came out in force. 30 or more people willing to support him in any way they can. They believe in him despite the allegations.