Tounisi Plea Changed to Guilty


A young Aurora man changed his plea to ‘guilty’ on the charge of providing material support to al-Qaida in 2013. A second charge was dropped by the government in exchange. The FBI monitored his online activity for months. In this case, the FBI set up a fake terrorist recruitment site, and an informant, who pretended to be a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, lured the then 18-year-old in. The FBI can legally surveil a person’s online activities and engage with them under false pretenses. They kept in contact with him as he requested a passport and created a P.O. Box to send his passport to. He was apprehended at O’Hare International Airport in April 2013.

His family was present at the hearing Tuesday and continually stands by his side. Many leaders from the local Muslim community were present to support the family in this difficult time, including staff from CAIR-Chicago. We condemn all acts of terrorism, and reiterate the importance for families to foster open and honest dialogue with their youth. We also encourage all families to engage in dialogue with children and adolescents about online responsibility, civil rights when interacting with law enforcement, and the responsibilities that come with social media use.

If you would like to learn more about your rights when interacting with law enforcement or request a Know Your Rights presentation, please contact CAIR-Chicago. Read about your rights here.

Photo courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago