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Prosecutors recommend 5 years for man who tried to join ISIL

A militant website shows a convoy of vehicles and fighters from ISIL in Iraq's Anbar Province. | Distributed by the Associated Press

Prosecutors recommended a five-year prison sentence for a southwest suburban man who pleaded guilty to trying to join the Islamic State in 2014.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan of Bolingbrook was picked up by federal agents in October 2014 at O’Hare International Airport as he tried to travel to the Middle East with two younger siblings. He was 19 at the time.

In a Friday federal court filing, prosecutors said they recommended the five years based on Khan’s cooperation.

“In spite of the tortured judgment that led Khan to O’Hare on October 4, 2014, Khan has taken an important first step in rejecting ISIL and taking advantage of his second chance by cooperating with the government’s investigation of ISIL and his recruiters,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum filed Friday. “Khan’s cooperation has benefited active criminal investigations and our foreign partners.”

Mohammed Hamzah Khan is an undated passport photo. | Supplied

Mohammed Hamzah Khan is an undated passport photo. | Supplied

Prosecutors said Khan met the obligations of his plea agreement and took part of four “extensive” debriefings that lasted nearly 20 hours in all. Khan has “committed to cooperating throughout his incarceration and during the entire length of his supervised release, if called upon to do so.”

Prosecutors recommended Khan also face 15 years of “intensive and customized” supervised release after his prison sentence.

Friday’s filing also shows prosecutors recommended Khan must submit to a search, with or without a warrant of “any property, house, apartment, residence, vehicle, records, computer, electronic communication devices or data storage devices or electronic media” at any time.

Khan’s plea deal indicated he and a sibling got in touch through the Internet with members of ISIL in Syria, who helped plan their trip.

The day Khan was arrested by the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, authorities said they found a three-page note in Khan’s bedroom for his parents.

“Western societies are getting more immoral day by day,” Khan allegedly wrote. “I do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this.”

Khan still faces a maximum of 15 years in prison at a sentencing hearing that has not yet been scheduled.