Feds: Islamic State suspect's siblings joined him

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Feds: Islamic State suspect's siblings joined him
This undated passport photo provided by the U.S. attorney's office and presented as evidence at a detention hearing at federal court in Chicago, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, shows Mohammed Hamzah Khan. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox judge said Monday that Khan, a suburban Chicago man accused of seeking to join Islamic State militants in Syria, will remain behind bars pending trial. Prosecutors say agents arrested Khan on Oct. 4, 2104 at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Turkey, which borders Syria. (AP Photo/U.S. attorney’s office)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn (L) and Shafi Ullah Khan (C), the parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, leave Federal Court after a bond hearing for their son on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Their son was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The hearing was continued. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn (L) and Shafi Ullah Khan (C), the parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, leave Federal Court with their son's attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin after a bond hearing for their son on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Mohammed Khan was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The hearing was continued. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn (R) and Shafi Ullah Khan (C), the parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, listen as Thomas Anthony Durkin, the attorney for their son, talks to reporters after a bond hearing on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Mohammed Khan was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The hearing was continued. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn (R) and Shafi Ullah Khan, the parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, listen as an attorney for their son talks to reporters after a bond hearing on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Mohammed Khan was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The hearing was continued. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn, mother of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, arrives at Federal Court for a bond hearing for her son on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Their son was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Shafi Ullah Khan, father of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, arrives at Federal Court for a bond hearing for his son on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. His son was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 9: Zarine Kahn, mother of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, arrives at Federal Court for a bond hearing for her son on October 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Their son was arrested on October 4 while attempting to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport to Vienna, where he allegedly planned to travel on to Istanbul and eventually to Islamic State locations in Iraq or Syria according to the criminal complaint filed against him. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Thomas Durkin, defense attorney for Mohammed Hamzah Khan, speaks with reporters following a detention hearing for his client at the federal building in Chicago, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox said Monday that Khan, a suburban Chicago man who is accused of seeking to join Islamic State militants in Syria will remain behind bars pending trial. Prosecutors say agents arrested Khan on Oct. 4 at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Turkey, which borders Syria. Khan's father, Shafi Khan, is seen standing next to Durkin. (AP Photo)
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CHICAGO (AP) -- A younger brother and sister left their suburban Chicago home and were detained at O'Hare International Airport along with their 19-year-old brother last month - all of them intent on traveling to Syria to join Islamic State militants, a prosecutor alleged on Monday while pushing for the older brother to remain behind bars.

The jailed Mohammed Hamzah Khan was the only one charged, but prosecutor Richard Hiller said Khan's 16-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister were also passionate about the Islamic State. Hiller said the girl once used the Twitter handle (at)DeathIsTheeNear to send a favorable tweet about a video of beheadings - even placing a smiley emoticon in the text.

Authorities announced Khan's Oct. 4 arrest at O'Hare several days after it happened. On Monday, they revealed for the first time that his siblings were detained with him that same day, all three with airplane tickets to Istanbul, Turkey, which borders Syria.

At the end of the 2 1/2-hour detention hearing in federal court in Chicago, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox ruled the government amply showed that Khan poses a potential threat and a flight risk and therefore shouldn't be released.

"He was prepared to abandon his home, his family, his country and his citizenship to join (the Islamic State)," Cox said.

Defense attorney Thomas Durkin had called on Cox to grant Khan supervised release so he could get counseling.

"There is time to modify this behavior ... which is, I think, needed here," he said. "We can't give up on these kids."

Khan is charged with seeking to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. Prosecutors gave no indication they are even contemplating charges against his siblings, who they never referred to by name.

Hiller described Khan as the instigator of the plan to join the Islamic State. He said Khan's meticulous planning included landing a job at a Chicago-area store to earn money for the three plane tickets.

"He tried to take his high school-aged siblings halfway around the world to a war zone," Hiller said.

The prosecutor said all three spoke of acts of violence, with the sister writing about "preparing for death."

"He and his siblings not only had barbaric rhetoric ... they tried to carry it out," he said.

Prosecutors have previously said Khan left his parents a handwritten letter in his bedroom that expressed anger over his U.S. taxes being used to kill his "Muslim brothers and sisters."

His siblings left similar letters, Hiller told the court Monday. He said the girl sounded determined but also saddened she was leaving the family's home in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, writing, "My heart is crying for the thought I left you."

At Monday's hearing, Durkin called the case against his client "hopelessly weak." He said Khan and his siblings appeared to have fallen under the influence of "slick" Islamic State propaganda.

Durkin has previously said the parents did not know of their son's plans to travel to Syria.

Chicago Man Charged with Attempting to Support Terrorist Organization
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