Chicago threat investigated; Man in court for waving ISIS flag

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Authorities are investigating a possible ISIS threat in Chicago after a man was arrested for waving an ISIS flag and making a bomb threat.

Emad Karakrah, 49, appeared before a judge Wednesady to face several criminal counts stemming from an incident last Wednesday morning.

According to police reports someone called the police after seeing a “suspicious person” driving erratically near 79th and Western with an ISIS flag hanging out the window.

When an officer tried to pull the silver Pontiac over to question him, Karakrah initially stopped but then drove away.

After blowing through several red lights, another squad curbed the car. Karakrah exited the vehicle waving a flag.

In court today, the arresting officer James Conlan told the judge Karakrah was holding a green Palestinian flag with the word ISIS written in red letters on it.

As he was being led to the squad car, Officer Conlan told the judge Karakrah told him and another officer he had a bomb in his car and would detonate it.

Karakrahs arrest and alleged ISIS endorsement comes on the heels of a WGN story last month with another ISIS connection concerning the Old Republic building at 307 North Michigan Ave.

The WGN investigative team found online an apparent message in this photo dated June 20th of this summer, is “soldiers of the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria will pass from here soon.”

Other tweets show the same two pictures saying “we are in your state/ we are in your cities / we are in your streets.”

More tweets say “we are here #america near our #target :) sooooooooooooon.”

No one in security at the Old rRpublic building would comment, nor did the Secret Service, the FBI, or Chicago police.

At the home where Karakrah lives in the West Lawn neighborhood, his landlady who didn't want to go on camera told WGN he lived in the basement apartment by himself and kept to himself. He had been living in the home about a year.

A neighbor said the day Karakrah was arrested he saw a lot of police activity outside the home as well as federal authorities from the FBI and Homeland Security. The neighbor said they left with presumably an evidence box of items taken from his home .

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  • ginnyleave

    Does anyone ever do a spell check on these articles? C’mon – ‘journalist’ means “the occupation of reporting, writing, editing…” which must mean, “spelling correctly”.

    • Bob

      I gave up pointing these glaring and flagrant incompetencies of these “journalists”. News agencies apparently do not hire literate folks anymore, just uneducated illiterates.

  • Quagmire Farshmelt

    The headline is misleading. I don’t believe for a minute that the man was arrested for merely displaying any flag. Fleeing police, disobeying red lights and telling police he had a bomb in his trunk is most likely the cause.
    WGN, this is the second time in two days you have down played the charges in a criminal case. Are you trying to incite some readers’ outrage, as in “How dare the police arrest this poor man for displaying a flag!!” That wasn’t the reason for the arrest and you know it.
    This is as untrue as yesterday when Dina Bair said that Clayton Lockett was given the death penalty for “shooting a woman”. Lockett was actually sentenced for murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery . Again, the real reasons for the sentence were not stated on air. What’s going on?

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