CHICAGO (AP) -- A suburban Chicago man snared in a 2013 internet sting is being sentenced for seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked group fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.
Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers are requesting different prison terms for Abdella Ahmad Tounisi (too-NEE'-see) at Thursday's hearing in Chicago. Prosecutors want the maximum 15 years for attempting to provide material support to terrorists. The defense wants seven.
The American-born Tounisi was 18 when agents arrested him after he left his Aurora, Illinois, home and went to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in April 2013. He was bound for Turkey, then Syria to join Jabhat al-Nusrah.
He had visited a sham extremist website created by the FBI weeks earlier. It invited visitors to join their "lion brothers" under "the true banner of Islam."
Tounisi pleaded guilty in 2015.