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Feds: Judge wrong to OK terrorist suspect release

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:00 a.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors say a federal magistrate judge made a mistake by agreeing to let a teenage terrorist suspect in Illinois out of jail pending trial.

A different judge will hear the government's appeal opposing Abdella Ahmad Tounisi's release Friday. Thursday's release order was stayed for 24 hours until a ruling on the appeal.

The 18-year-old Aurora teen is accused of seeking to join al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria.

Prosecutors say Tounisi helped a friend last year select possible bombing targets in the Chicago-area. Tounisi wasn't charged in that case, though his friend was.

Tounisi's lawyer notes he has no prior criminal record. But prosecutors' 16-page filing says that's irrelevant.

It says Tounisi has expressed a wish to die a martyr and that a terrorist crime typically "may only be committed once."

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