A teenager in the Midwestern U.S. state of Illinois accused of planning to join an al-Qaida linked group in Syria appeared in a Chicago federal court Tuesday, charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorism.
The FBI arrested 18-year-old Abdella Ahmad Tounisi in Chicago late Friday as he prepared to board a plane for Turkey. A federal judge is expected to decide next week whether to release Tounisi on bond or keep him in custody.
Authorities say Tounisi, a U.S. citizen, made online contact with an FBI agent posing as a terrorist recruiter. Tounisi reportedly told the agent he was willing to die for the cause and was planning to travel to Syria through Turkey.
An FBI statement says Tounisi is a close friend of Adel Daoud, who is charged with trying to detonate a bomb outside a Chicago bar last year.
But the agency says Tounisi has no connection to last week's deadly bombing attack in Boston.
If convicted, Tounisi faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.