AURORA, Ill. (WLS) --The ABC7 I-Team has new details in a terrorist plot against a military installation, including an unusual explanation from a suburban jihadist who had targeted the National Guard facility in Joliet.
When Jonas Edmonds talked about storming the National Guard facility with AK-47 rifles and grenades, he was just blowing smoke, according to a newly-filed statement.
Two kinds of smoke: bravado, and marijuana smoke from his several time-a-day habit.
The 30-year-old Aurora man is looking at a long prison sentence, regardless of his unusual explanation.
As ISIS fighters were on the march in Syria, Jonas Edmonds and his cousin Hasan admit they were attracted to the cause.
A year ago, Hasan Edmonds began communicating online with someone he thought was an ISIS operative in Libya, when in reality it was an undercover FBI agent.
By March, there was a plan in place for Hasan to travel overseas and join ISIS, and for his cousin to attack this National Guard facility in Joliet. Jonas was to wear Hasan's old military uniform from when he was assigned here.
The FBI broke up the plot at Midway Airport, arresting Hasan on his way out of the country.
Both men are now in the federal lockup after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.
In a newly-filed sentencing memorandum, Jonas Edmonds claims it was all just "bold talk" and "bravado", and that he never really would have gone through with the attack that he was recorded saying he hoped would kill 150 people, including ranking soldiers.
And there is another explanation he gives: "Prior to his arrest Jonas Edmonds smoked marijuana several times a day," his lawyer says. "During the course of the recorded conversations he was under the influence of marijuana."
Despite the claim he was motivated by two kinds of puffery, Edmonds admits he was profoundly angered by "civilian casualties caused by the United States military on Muslim populations in other parts of the world." He was brought to tears while watching scenes of violence on the internet, according to family members cited in the court filing.
When Jonas Edmonds heard himself on the undercover FBI recording plotting to attack the National Guard, he says it made him look terrible, and that is why he's pleading guilty.
The deal he has with prosecutors calls for 21 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 27.