Crime

Terror suspect found mentally fit for trial

Grandmother of terrorism suspect says he’s mentally ill, not a criminal

Debra Thomas of Godfrey says her grandson Keaun L. Cook is not a terrorist. Cook has been charged with two felonies related to terrorism. Thomas says her grandson suffers from mental health disorders.
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Debra Thomas of Godfrey says her grandson Keaun L. Cook is not a terrorist. Cook has been charged with two felonies related to terrorism. Thomas says her grandson suffers from mental health disorders.

The Alton teen accused of planning a terrorist attack is sane enough to stand trial, according to a Madison County judge.

Keaun Cook, 18, of Godfrey, was charged with one count each of making a terrorist threat and providing material support for terrorism. Both are Class X felonies. He was accused of being in communication with a terrorist organization and planning an attack on local sites.

At a status conference held Wednesday in Madison County, Associate Judge Philip Alfeld said that the psychological evaluations indicate Cook is fit to stand trial. Cook will therefore be arraigned from the Madison County Jail on Thursday.

Law enforcement began investigating after Cook allegedly was overheard making verbal threats, and Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said the investigation showed that Cook had been in communication with a terrorist organization via the internet. He would not go into further specifics and would not name the organization to which Cook had been linked.

Cook’s family has insisted that Cook suffers from untreated schizophrenia and is not a threat. Cook’s arraignment was held over pending evaluation to determine whether he was mentally competent to stand trial.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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