U.S.

FBI Says Chicago Teen Was Trying To Join ISIS

The FBI arrested a Chicago-area teen at O'Hare International Airport on suspicion of planning to join ISIS.

FBI Says Chicago Teen Was Trying To Join ISIS
Getty Images / Tim Boyle
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Police on Monday arrested a teenager from the quiet Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook at O'Hare International Airport after officials suspected his trip to Turkey was for a little more than sightseeing.

CNN: "The arrest of a 19-year-old American citizen who allegedly sought to leave the United States to join the ISIS terror group."

The teen's name is Mohammed Hamzah Khan, and the Justice Department announced he's been detained on suspicion of attempting to join a terrorist organization overseas. 

According to the criminal complaint, the FBI's raid of his home turned up an ISIS flag with the words "Come to Jihad" beneath it, and a written checklist of steps required to get from point A, Chicago, to point B, the frontline of ISIS' caliphate. 

The FBI says it also found a note to his parents — explaining he had an "obligation" to join ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, and warning them not to tell the authorities. (Video via The New York Times)

Khan now faces a $250,000 fine and 15 years in federal prison.

But some are afraid that for every last-minute airport arrest, there's another ISIS sympathizer who gets through. 

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf told Newsmax about the crisis: "There are over 115 Americans, American citizens, with passports, who are fighting with them now, who are part of ISIS."

The White House has pushed back on that number: FBI Director James Comey says the real figure is closer to 12

In a world where Chicago and Syria are joined by an Internet connection and separated by only a plane ticket, though, the FBI faces a difficult task in catching ISIS sympathizers.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.