Joseph D. Jones (left) and Edward Schimenti caught on camera. Prosecutors blurred the source’s face. U.S. District Court filing
More convert “misunderstanders” of Islam. Why is it so many millions of Muslims and converts to Islam “misunderstand” Islam in exactly this same way?
“Drench that land with they, they blood.” “I want to see blood flowing, whatever way,” They talked about how, under Islamic law, they could put gay people “on top of Sears Tower and we drop you,”
The Democrats call this entrapment.
Two suburban men guilty of providing support to Islamic State
The FBI descended on their north suburban home in a raid two years ago that began with a “boom,” neighbors said.
Then, the feds unveiled a 77-page criminal complaint in April 2017 that accused Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti of sharing gruesome Islamic State videos online, fantasizing about the ISIS flag “on top of the White House” and, crucially, collecting cellphones they thought could be used as detonators by terrorists overseas.
Now, the 37-year-old Zion men have been found guilty of a conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State. A jury convicted them Thursday after more than a day and a half of deliberations, ending their roughly three-week trial.
The jury also found Schimenti guilty of lying to the FBI about a matter involving international terrorism. Both men face significant prison time at sentencing hearings that have not been scheduled.
Schimenti and Jones looked sullen after U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood read the verdict Thursday afternoon. Jones’ lawyer, Patrick Boyle, later told reporters he was disappointed. It’s rare for a terrorism case to go to trial at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. And in the lead-up to this one, defense attorneys convinced the judge they should be allowed to present an entrapment defense to the jury.
The investigation of Schimenti and Jones lasted a year and a half, and it involved several law enforcement agents working undercover, records show. Their attorneys said they never “took any affirmative steps” to help the terrorist group until a federal confidential informant got involved.
“They never researched on their computers how to make explosives, or how cell phones can work as detonators,” the lawyers argued.
Prosecutors said Jones shared Islamic State videos that depicted the deaths of people who were beheaded by a child soldier, drowned in a cage, and blown up by a rocket-propelled grenade while locked inside a vehicle. Another video demonstrated various ways to stab someone. It was titled, “Some of the Deadly Stabbing Ways: Do not Forget to Poison the Knife.”
Still, their lawyers argued, “this is all protected speech, [no] matter how morally objectionable it may seem. Supporting distasteful, objectionably horrible groups is in and of itself not a crime. In fact, it is protected by the Constitution.”
Schimenti crossed paths with one of the FBI’s confidential informants in November 2016, records show. He was led to believe the man was from Iraq and had a brother in ISIS. Schimenti told him he supported ISIS and, when the man said he wanted to return to the Middle East to fight for the group, Schimenti introduced him to Jones.
Schimenti also met the man at a gym for physical training exercises, records show. There, Schimenti told the man about ISIS videos and how their fighters trained hard, even “jumping through fire.” He told the man, “inshallah [God willing] the brothers will just have me be the one to cut the neck.”
Ultimately, Schimenti and Jones helped that man collect cellphones they thought would be used as detonators, introduced him to an undercover fed they believed would get him overseas, and then drove the man to O’Hare Airport to begin his journey on April 7, 2017.
Schimenti allegedly told the man to “drench that land with they, they blood.”
During the investigation, an undercover fed asked Jones if he ever thought about joining ISIS. Jones replied, “every night and day,” court records show. Schimenti also fantasized about how, under Islamic law, they could put gay people “on top of Sears Tower and we drop you,” according to the feds.
“I want to see blood flowing, whatever way,” Schimenti said.
The criminal complaint also contained photos of the men posing with the ISIS flag, including at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion.
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