American citizen believed to be a pacesetter of an all-female army battalion charged with offering assist to terrorists in Syria
A 42-year-old US citizen, Allison Elizabeth Fluke-Ekren, has been captured in Syria and transferred into the custody of the FBI to look earlier than a Virginia court docket subsequent week, the US Division of Justice disclosed on Saturday.
In line with now unsealed paperwork, the girl, believed to be a former trainer, performed an lively function in serving to Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS) terrorists to coach girls and kids as suicide bombers in Syria. Recognized by a number of names, together with some Arabic, she additionally allegedly deliberate to hold out terrorist assaults on a university campus and a shopping center within the US.
Citing a report from a particular agent who investigated the girl, together with by way of info offered by quite a lot of cooperating witnesses, US officers revealed that Fluke-Ekren allegedly organized and led an IS battalion, generally known as the Khatiba Nusaybah, which was composed solely of ladies. She skilled them to make use of assault rifles, grenades and suicide belts, paperwork recommend, including that over 100 girls and younger women had been drilled by the US citizen on behalf of IS.
Terrorist leaders “have been proud to have an American teacher,” whereas she herself “wished to have interaction in violent jihad,” witnesses instructed.
Kids have been additionally skilled “on the usage of AK-47 assault rifles and suicide belts,” the US Division of Justice acknowledged of their report. Fluke-Ekren is now charged with offering materials assist or assets to a international terrorist group, and faces as much as 20 years behind bars.
The lady – who traveled from the US to Egypt in 2008, after which ended up in Syria after spending a while in Libya and Iraq – has allegedly been concerned with “quite a lot of terrorism-related actions on behalf of ISIS from no less than 2014.” A possible assault on a university campus within the US was amongst these actions. In a plot apparently authorised by terrorist leaders, she deliberate to plant a backpack stuffed with explosives on the campus grounds and flee. The assault planning was placed on maintain after she realized she was pregnant.
In a unique situation, Fluke-Ekren allegedly advised a witness about her need to kill as many individuals as potential at a shopping center within the US. To hold out the assault, she would have parked a automobile stuffed with explosives on the mall’s underground parking after which remotely detonated it. “She thought of any assault that didn’t kill a lot of people to be a waste of assets,” in line with the paperwork.
The previous US trainer was radicalized to a degree “off the charts,” in line with a witness who interacted along with her. Requested to fee it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extraordinarily radicalized, the witness gave her “11 or 12.”
Fluke-Ekren has been married a number of instances and has a number of youngsters, in line with the investigation. One in every of her late husbands, who she met within the US, was a sniper coach for IS, whereas one other, additionally now useless, allegedly labored on a mission involving drones carrying chemical weapons.
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