CHICAGO (AP) -- An attorney for a suburban Chicago man accused of trying to join al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in Syria says the defense has begun negotiations with prosecutors on a possible plea deal.
Abdella Ahmad Tounisi’s attorney, Molly Armour, disclosed the development at a Thursday status hearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago. She told the presiding judge the sides are in “preliminary plea negotiations.”
The 20-year-old was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in early 2013 as he tried to board a plane for Turkey. Prosecutors say the then-teenager from Aurora hoped to join the Nusra Front group.
Tounisi pleaded not guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group. His maximum prison term could be several decades. But prosecutors typically recommend lower sentences if defendants agree to plead guilty.