Mohammed Hamzah Khan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Chicago Man ISIS


A Chicago teen was arrested at O’Hare airport on October 4 on his way to join ISIS in Syria, according to the FBI. Mohammed Hamazah Khan was picked up as he attempted to fly to Vienna, where he would continue on to Turkey and ultimately Syria, reports NBC Chicago. He is 19 years old.

Here’s what we know so far:

1. He Lived in a Quiet Chicago Suburb

Muhammad Khan Bollingbrook

A typical neighborhood in Bollingbrook. (Wikipedia)

Khan is from Bollingbrook, a quiet suburb south of Chicago. He had written in a letter that was recovered by FBI agents, “I do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this.” The “this” to which he refers is thought to be the “immoral” West.

You can read the full criminal complaint here:

2. The FBI Searched His Home Before Arresting Him

O'Hare Airport Terrorism


Khan is charged with “attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.” CBS Chicago reports that the arrest came on October 4 at the airport, just hours after FBI agents searched his home.

3. He Wrote Extensively About His Admiration for ISIS

islamic state flag, isis flag, isil flag, black flag

The flag of ISIS. (Wikipedia)

Khan appeared in court on October 6 in Chicago. According to the AP, Khan appeared “slight” and “bearded” in court.

The Chicago Tribune reports that agents found several written documents in Khan’s home that showed support and admiration for ISIS. One of the documents read, “We are the lions of War. My nation, the dawn has emerged.” Also found was a drawing of the ISIS flag.

4. Some 100 Americans Have Attempted to Join ISIS

According to the Chicago Tribune, Khan had a contact in Istanbul who would take him on to Syria to join ISIS. CBS Chicago reports that Khan’s passport was issued on May 2, 2014.

James Comey ISIS Syria

FBI Director James Comey. (Getty)

According to FBI Director James Comey, there are some 100 Americans who have tried to leave America to join ISIS. He added that there were about 12 U.S. citizens who are in Syria fighting for the Islamic state.

5. Khan Didn’t Know What Role He Would Serve for ISIS

The Tribune reports that Khan expected his role in ISIS to be “some type of public service, a police force, humanitarian work or a combat role.”