Illinois Man Charged With Wanting to Join ISIS

19-Year-Old Confessed, Wanted to Do 'Public Service' in Syria

19-year-old Illinois man Mohammed Hamzah Khan has been arrested by the FBI on charges of wanting to join ISIS in Syria, though he never actually joined the group nor did anything else.

The charges center around his purchase of a round-trip ticket to Istanbul, and he confessed to plans to travel from northern Turkey into Syria, where he hoped to “be involved in some type of public service” in ISIS-held territory.

Khan said he was angry that his tax dollars were being used to kill other Muslims overseas, and that he did not want to raise children of his own in an “immoral” Western society.

The charges are “intent” to provide aid to ISIS, and the FBI claimed to have been tipped off to his intent to travel to Turkey by Austrian Airlines. Since Khan confessed to the intention, it doesn’t seem like there’ll be much of a case.

It will be interesting, however, to see exactly how still of a penalty the administration can impose on him for intention. Attempting to provide support to ISIS could carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, though it isn’t clear if wanting to is the same thing as attempting to do so.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of