Hassan Edmonds, an Ex-National Guard soldier, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to join a radical Islamic terrorist organization and planning to carry out an attack on a U.S. military facility. Hasan’s cousin, Jonas Edmonds, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and lying to federal agents.
The two men planned for Hassan to travel to the Middle East to meet with terrorist organization leaders while Jonas carried out an attack on the National Guard armory in Joliet, IL. The men hoped to kill up to 150 people at the facility while specifically targeting high-ranking officers.
Hassan planned to use the knowledge he gained while serving in the National Guard against them. The two men carefully and callously planned the attack for months. Video footage of Hassan driving around town while casually discussing how to murder the men he once served beside while on active duty was played during the court proceedings. Some of the video footage can be seen below:
The two men came dangerously close to carrying out the attack. Jonas reportedly had dropped Hassan off at the airport to travel to the Middle East when the FBI intervened. The plan was then for Jonas to return home and gather Hassan’s old military uniforms so that he could blend in before traveling to the base and carrying out the deadly assault. Jonas admits he knew he was bringing his cousin to the airport so he could meet ISIS fighters but denies he would have carried out the attack. Fortunately, authorities intervened and detained both men at the airport.
SFC Thomas Sherman was present to confront Hassan before the sentence was handed down. He called the two men “naive” and explained that they betrayed their country and fellow service members for an organization that would have “strapped a bomb to your chest.” He finished by coldly asking if Hassan he laid away at night imagining the soldiers who had once befriended him bloody and dying on the ground.
U.S. District Judge John Lee then decided to hand down a harsh sentence to send a “clear and unequivocal” message that any one that serves in the military then betrays their country will face severe consequences and be punished to the utmost extent of the law.