Story Summary

Aurora teen charged with aiding terrorists

An 18 year old Aurora teen is charged with attempting to aid a terrorist organization.

Abdealla Ahmad Tounisi was arrested as he was about to board a plane to Istanbul.

The FBI says Tounisi, who is a U.S. citizen, was headed to Syria to join a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 7 updates

An Aurora teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to join a group linked to al-qaida and planned to blow up a suburban nightclub.

Abdealla Ahmad Tounisi was arraigned in federal court Wednesday.

The FBI says it caught the 18-year-old in an online sting.

Authorities arrested him last month at O’Hare Airport as he was allegedly heading out for a trip to join a group fighting the government of Syria.

Tounisi is free on $50,000 bond and under home confinement.

If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

A teenager from the suburbs will remain in federal custody.

On Thursday, a judge agreed to release Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, to home confinement on $50,000 unsecured bond.

Experts told WGN, that was a “rare move for a judge involved in a terror case.”

Federal prosecutors challenged the judge’s ruling today, arguing that Tounisi was a danger and a flight risk.

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang, agreed. Tounisi will remain in jail.

Last month, Tounisi was arrested while trying to board a flight a O’Hare.

He was accused of trying to travel to Syria to join a militant jihad group.

The FBI said Tounisi was about to link up with terrorists and that he had wanted to blow up a nightclub in Naperville.

Tounisi was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorism.

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.

A teenager from Aurora who’s accused of wanting to join Al-Qaeda is granted a “continuance” in court Tuesday morning.

18 year-old Abdella Tounisi was arrested at O’Hare Airport on Friday before he boarded a flight to Turkey.

Authorities say he was in contact with a man who he thought was a terrorism recruiter, but was really an undercover F.B.I. agent. They say he planned to join a terrorist group in Syria.

At his court hearing on Tuesday, he was granted a “continuance” because he had a conflict with his first lawyer. His next court date is May 2nd.

His parents believe he was trapped.

“We’ve been under a lot of stress. Leave us for now. Please,” said Ahmad Tounisi, the suspect’s father.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

A teenager from Aurora who’s accused of wanting to join Al Qaeda has been granted a continuance in court Tuesday morning because he has a new lawyer.

Abdella Tounisi, 18, was arrested at O’Hare Airport last Friday before he boarded a flight to Turkey.

Authorities say he was in contact with a man who he thought was a terrorism recruiter but was really an undercover FBI agent.

The feds say he planned to join a terrorist group in Syria.

His next court date is now set for May 2.

A teenager from Aurora is due in federal court Tuesday to face terrorism charges.

Abdella Tounisi, 18, is charged with aiding a terrorist organization.

Federal agents arrested him at O’Hare airport April 19, just before he could board a flight to Turkey.

The feds say he planned to join a terrorist group in Syria.

They say Tounisi had been in contact with a terrorism recruiter, who was actually an FBI agent.

An 18 year old Aurora teen is charged with attempting to aid a terrorist organization.

Abdealla Ahmad Tounisi was arrested as he was about to board a plane to Istanbul yesterday and is being held without bond.0 crime

The FBI says Tounisi, who is a U.S. citizen, was headed to Syria to join a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda.

He’s charged with knowingly attempting to provide support and resources to a terrorist organiz

ation.

Tounisi also had close ties to a man charged in a foiled bombing in Chicago last summer.

Advertisement