Zarine Khan and Shafi Khan, parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan. (Associated Press photo)
The suburban Chicago mother of a 19-year-old youth facing a terrorist charge for trying to join Islamic State militants says the group is "brainwashing" youths via social media. And she declared, "Leave our children alone!"
Mohammed Hamzah Khan's mother cried as she read her statement in a Chicago federal courthouse lobby Tuesday.
At his arraignment minutes before, Khan pleaded not guilty plea to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group.
Authorities arrested him in October at O'Hare International Airport.
Zarine Khan said she felt compelled to speak out in the wake of last week's deadly Paris attacks, which she described as "unspeakable acts of horror, completely at odds with our Islamic faith."
Defense lawyer Thomas Durkin said Islamic State recruiters wooed Mohammed Khan with "slick" propaganda.
Thousands of Europeans are already pouring into Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State.
On Tuesday, the chief of Europe's police organisation Europol said as many as 5,000 Europeans have joined the fight in Syria, posing a risk to their homelands.