A former Illinois National Guardsman pleaded guilty on Monday in Chicago to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Hasan Edmonds, 23, of Aurora, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
The pleas came one week after his cousin Jonas Edmonds, 30, of Aurora, pleaded guilty to similar charges. Both men are U.S. citizens.
"Hasan and Jonas Edmonds conspired to provide material support to ISIL," John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a news release. "They admitted planning to wage violence on behalf of ISIL in the Middle East and to conduct an attack on our soil."
Their pleas come as a new study from researchers at George Washington University found an unprecedented diversity of ages, backgrounds and locations among ISIL's U.S.-based recruits — from the “keyboard warriors” who share the group's propaganda online to those who actually take up arms in Syria and Iraq.
Beginning in January, Hasan Edmonds had online exchanges with a person he thought was an ISIL fighter in Libya but who was an undercover FBI agent, according to The Chicago Tribune. Edmonds said that if he was unable to get to Syria, he would stay in the U.S. and "fight and die here in the name of Allah," according to the charges.
Prosecutors say the cousins devised a plan for Hasan Edmonds to travel to the Middle East and join Islamic State fighters overseas. After dropping his cousin off at Midway International Airport last March, Jonas Edmonds went to Hasan Edmonds' home and collected several National Guard uniforms that he planned to wear as a disguise during a planned attack at the Joliet armory, the plea agreement said.
In March, agents with the Chicago FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Hasan Edmonds before he could board his flight and arrested Jonas Edmonds at his home a short time later.
Charges alleged the armory attack was planned to kill as many as 150 people.
Hasan Edmonds is to be sentenced March 18 and faces up to 30 years in prison. Jonas Edmonds is to be sentenced Jan. 27 and faces up to 23 years in prison.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press