CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois teenager charged with trying to join an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Syria via a sham FBI website has appeared at a detention hearing in Chicago.
Abdella Ahmad Tounisi shuffled into court Tuesday in orange jail garb, his ankles shackled. Short and thin, he appeared younger than his 18 years.
The federal judge said he’d delay a decision on bond until next week to give defense attorneys more time to prepare.
When he asked Tounisi if he understood the proceedings, he responded in a high-pitched voice, “Yes, sir, your honor.” Later, the Aurora teen cast a worried look at his parents on a spectators’ bench.
A complaint cites an email Tounisi allegedly wrote saying he’s willing to die but conceding he’s on the small side for a would-be fighter.