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Prosecutors seek maximum sentence in Chicago terrorism case

CHICAGO (AP) _ Prosecutors want the maximum 15-year prison term for a young Chicago-area man who sought to join an al-Qaida-linked group fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.

They requested the sentence for Abdella Ahmad Tounisi’s (too-NEE’-see) in a Thursday filing. He’s pleaded guilty to attempting to offer material support to foreign terrorists. Sentencing is Oct. 19.

Tounisi’s lawyers want a seven-year term. They say their client felt isolated as a Muslim in the U.S. and that his decision to travel to Syria reflected his immaturity. They insist he’s tried to change since.

He was 18 when arrested in an internet sting in 2013.

Prosecutors say Tounisi persisted about his plans even after a friend was arrested on terrorism charges in 2012 and after relatives expressed concern about his interest in Syria.