CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has reversed another judge’s decision to release to home confinement an Illinois teenager accused of seeking to join al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria.
U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang ruled Friday in the case of 18-year-old Abdella Ahmad Tounisi of Aurora. On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin had ruled the Aurora teen could be released to home while awaiting trial. But Martin stayed his own order for 24 hours to give prosecutors a chance to appeal.
On Friday, Chang agreed with prosecutors and ruled Tounisi shouldn’t be released.
Tounisi’s lawyer notes he has no prior criminal record. But prosecutors call that irrelevant in their appeal. They say Tounisi expressed a wish to die a martyr and that a terrorist crime typically “may only be committed once.”