U.S. teen arrested for trying to join Islamic State

On Saturday, authorities arrested a 19-year-old in Chicago, alleging that the teen was attempting to fly overseas to join the Islamic State group.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport stopped Mohammed Hamzah Khan, a U.S. citizen from Bolingbrook, Illinois, while he was passing through a security checkpoint. Khan, authorities say, had purchased a round-trip ticket to Istanbul with the intentions of moving into Syria or Iraq by way of Turkey’s borders.

According to the affidavit appearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago this morning, a search warrant at Khan’s residence turned up “multiple handwritten documents” in which Khan expressed his support for the Islamic State; in addition to a handwritten letter by Khan to his parents which explained his travel and telling his parents not to contact police. “We are all witness that the western societies are getting more immoral day by day,” the letter said. “I do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this…”

Khan will remain in federal custody until Thursday, where he will face a detention hearing. A conviction could see Khan face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.