Two suburban Chicago men who posed for photos holding a black Islamic State flag at a Lake Michigan beach park were arrested Wednesday on federal terrorist charges, reports the AP. An FBI sting begun in 2015 compiled evidence that Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti sought to provide material support to ISIS, including by providing cellphones to an FBI operative posing as an ISIS supporter, believing the phones would be used to detonate car bombs in Syria, a 65-page complaint says. Jones, a part-time chef, and Schimenti, who worked at a cancer treatment center, drove the FBI operative to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last week on what they thought would be the first leg of a journey to Syria.
The complaint says Schimenti told him to "drench that land ... with blood." While he helped the man he believed would go to Syria get into condition at a local gym, Schimenti conceded he wasn't close to fighting shape, the complaint says. "I'm all big, fat," he is quoted as saying. "But (God willing), the brothers will just have me be the one to cut the neck." Schimenti, who went by "Abdul Wali," also allegedly suggested homosexuals should be thrown from the Willis Tower. When asked if he ever thought about traveling to Syria, Jones, also known as "Yusuf Abdulhaqq," allegedly answered: "Every night and day." The 35-year-old men appeared Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.