CHICAGO — Two men from the Chicago area have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the barbaric Islamic group ISIS after they unknowingly assisted an undercover investigator with plans to travel overseas and fight for the terror group.
Joseph Jones, 35, also known as “Yusuf Abdulhaqq,” and Edward Schimenti, 35, also known as “Abdul Wali,” were arrested on Wednesday following a two-year investigation.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the official complaint, the men had expressed support for ISIS on social media and also shared photos with the undercover investigator that featured themselves holding the Islamic State flag at Illinois Beach State Park.
“Brother there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. That is the name Kaffirs (non-Muslims) give to weak-minded material-loving sellouts,” Jones wrote on Google+ in 2015, also sharing an essay on “Jihad: The Forgotten Obligation” and a manual called “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State.”
“Islamic State will control your country, matter of fact, Islam will dominate the world!!” wrote Schimenti, who also warned, “Kuffar (non-Muslims), we are coming to slay you.”
The men met with undercover agents on several occasions and Jones repeatedly sent one investigator ISIS videos as per his request for material to build his faith. A confidential source (CHS), who is employed at the same location as Schimenti, also helped the FBI by posing as an ISIS supporter whose brother had joined the organization and wanted to travel overseas to fight with him.
At one point, as Schimenti and the man went to the gym to train for jihad, Schimenti noted his frustration with a homosexual co-worker, advising, “Sharia [Law] comes here, we are putting you (homosexuals) on top of Sears Tower and we drop you.”
Jones and Schimenti are additionally accused of providing cell phones to the source, which they thought would be delivered to the Islamic State for the purpose of creating explosives.
“Jones and Schimenti provided these cellular telephones to the CHS with the belief and understanding that they
would be transported by the CHS to ISIS-controlled territory and provided to ISIS for use in assembling improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to conduct violent attacks,” the official complaint reads.
The men drove the source to the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where they thought he would board a plane to travel to Syria and join ISIS. Schimenti told him to “drench that land with … blood.” He had also stated during discussions that he would like to see the Islamic State flag “on top of the White House.”
Jones and Schimenti face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
As previously reported, FBI Director James Comey remarked last year that he believes ISIS sympathizers are present throughout the nation.
“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” he told a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). “This isn’t a New York phenomenon or a Washington phenomenon. This is all 50 states and in ways that are very hard to see…”