UPDATE: Appeal Set on Ruling to Release Terrorist Suspect

CHICAGO (AP) -- A U.S. district judge in Chicago is scheduled to hear the government's appeal of a decision to release an Illinois teenager accused of seeking to join al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria.

The hearing in Abdella Ahmad Tounisi's case is set for Friday morning.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin ruled the Aurora teen could be released under home confinement as he awaits trial.

But Martin stayed his own order for 24 hours to give prosecutors a chance to appeal. That means Tounisi wasn't immediately released.

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang will hear arguments at the Friday hearing. If he upholds the release, Tounisi could be released later Friday.

Legal observers say orders allowing terrorist suspects out of jail pending trial are rare.


CHICAGO (AP) -- An 18-year-old accused of seeking to join an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Syria will learn if he must remain in jail as he awaits trial.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi is to appear at a detention hearing in federal court in Chicago on Thursday. Prosecutors plan to argue that the Aurora teenager poses a threat and should remain behind bars.

The FBI allegedly snared the American-born teen through a sham website that claimed it could hook users up with extremist groups.

Tounisi was arrested at O'Hare International Airport two weeks ago. He was planning to travel to Syria.

He's charged with attempting to provide material support to foreign terrorists. If convicted, he faces a maximum 15-year prison term.

Tounisi hasn't entered a plea.

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