An Aurora teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges he sought to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.
Abdella Ahmad Tounisi's attorney entered the plea Wednesday at a federal court in Chicago. The 18-year-old Tounisi stood by her side in orange jail garb, his legs shackled.
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Authorities arrested Tounisi in April at O'Hare International Airport as he prepared for the first leg of a trip to join Jabhat al-Nusrah, authorities said.
Tounisi pleaded not guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and lying to federal authorities.
If convicted, he faces a maximum 23-year prison term.