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Judge: No release for Illinois man in terror case

November 20, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge says a 20-year-old American accused of trying to join al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in Syria will remain jailed pending trial.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi’s lawyer asked at a Thursday hearing in Chicago for her client to be released to home confinement.

Molly Armour argued that Tounisi was an immature 18-year-old when he was arrested at O’Hare International Airport in 2013 trying to board a plane to Turkey. She argued that his stint in jail since has been “a maturing process.”

But prosecutor William Ridgway countered that jail may have actually hardened Tounisi’s anti-American views.

Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan said he saw no compelling reason to revisit the detention issue.

Tounisi’s mother wept after the ruling.

Tounisi is charged with material support for terrorism.

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